Madison County

Not-guilty pleas entered for Madison couple charged in infant's death

Diana Dawes
Diana Dawes

RICHMOND — A judge on Wednesday entered pleas of not guilty for a Madison County couple charged in the beating death of their 7-month-old daughter.

William Leroy Dawes, 27, and Diana Dawes, 25, were arraigned in Madison District Court via video from jail.

William Leroy Dawes is charged with murder in the July 2 death of Serenity Dawes. Diana Dawes is charged with complicity to criminal abuse and complicity to murder.

Kentucky State Police said Serenity Dawes was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital on Friday with multiple injuries, including a fractured skull, a broken leg, retinal hemorrhaging and bruising.

Diana Dawes shook her head as Special Judge David Hayse read charges that said she failed to protect Serenity from her husband and that she failed to take the girl to a hospital after she knew the child had suffered injuries from her father's abuse.

The criminal citation also alleges that Diana Dawes "provided a lie to police to cover up the death of her daughter."

Hayse, a retired Fayette District Court judge filling in for Madison District Judge Brandy Brown, entered the not-guilty pleas on behalf of the couple, and he appointed public defenders for each of them.

Hayse also scheduled a preliminary hearing for July 13. At that time, a judge will hear evidence and decide whether there is probable cause to send the cases to a grand jury to consider for possible indictment.

The bonds of $250,000 for William Leroy Dawes and $100,000 for Diana Dawes will remain the same, Hayse said.

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