COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Two Columbus siblings accused in the murder of a one-year-old baby had their first appearance in Recorders Court morning. Aundrea and Jonathan Nelson pled not guilty shortly after 9 a.m. on May 10.

The Nelsons were arrested on Friday May 7 in the death of Aundrea’s daughter Mary Anne Smith.

In addition to pleading not guilty, both defendants asked for mental health evaluations, which the judge granted.

Columbus Police Detective Jones said Jonathan Nelson was watching his niece while his sister was away visiting a friend. Nelson said his sister told him she would be gone for only two days and then later extended the trip, while Aundrea said she told her brother she would be gone the entire week.

Detectives said Jonathan called 911 in the late afternoon of Feb. 25 when he realized his niece was not breathing. She was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy report released on April 27 stated the one year old died from a combination of hyperthermia or an abnormally high temperature, malnutrition and dehydration.

Detectives said the autopsy showed the child had been dead for longer than a day, but Aundrea and Jonathan said she Facetimed her daughter the night before she was pronounced dead.

The room in which the victim was found had a ceiling temperature of 105 degrees and a bed temperature of 95 degrees. Jonathan alleges he fed both Mary Anne and her brother around 8:00 a.m. the day she died.

Detectives said besides the heat, the home was dirty and had roaches and other insects. They also added both children appeared dirty upon arrival.

The Judge stated both cases have probable cause and will be going to Superior Court where the court will handle their bond.