Akron man pleads not guilty in baby's death

Dennis Watson returned to Akron

AKRON, Ohio - The Akron man accused of killing 11-week-old daughter pleaded not guilty in Akron Municipal Court Monday morning.

Dennis Watson, 31, was returned to Akron from Columbus over the weekend and faced Judge Katrina Cook in court. He was arrested last week by U.S. Marshals.

Judge Cook let his $2 million bond stand, despite a plea by his attorney to lower the amount.

Akron police said Watson was with his young daughter last month when she received life-threatening injuries.

Watson was arrested in Columbus around 7:15 p.m. Friday. According to Marshals, Watson was getting into a car driven by his father as deputies attempted to arrest him. That's when Dennis Watson Sr. attempted to run over one of the deputies, authorities said.

According to Akron police, the baby's mother noticed the girl was lethargic and wasn't eating. The baby, Avionna Helms, also had bruising on the side of her head.

Avionna was taken to a doctor's office, then to Akron Children's Hospital, where she later died.

"We've got a little 2-month-old here in our office that we need a squad to transfer over to Children's Hospital as soon as possible. The baby is just kind of unresponsive. This is after a head injury," the caller told the 911 dispatcher.

The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office said the baby suffered "multiple injuries." and died from blunt force trauma to the head. Following an autopsy on Thursday, the coroner ruled the death a homicide.

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