Bond remains as set for couple charged in 5-year-old's death

Mar. 20—GREENUP — An attorney for a Greenup County couple implicated in the murder of a 5-year-old girl withdrew a previous motion requesting a lower bond on Wednesday.

Christopher "Clay" Stiltner, 38, was arrested and charged in connection to the June 2023 death of Aubrey Stowers, 5, in January after a grand jury found probable cause when presented evidence from a lengthy criminal investigation.

In addition to Stiltner, Aubrey's biological mother and Stiltner's partner, Rachel Waddell, 37, was also charged with Aubrey's murder after the child was found unresponsive at the couple's Wurtland home in June 2023.

Kentucky State Police previously said it was called to the Oak Street address in reference to a "suspicious death."

Following the couple's arraignment in Greenup County Circuit Court, their bonds were set for $200,000 cash or property, but a later motion filed by their attorney, Sebastian Joy, requested a bond hearing, suggesting the pair could not afford $200,000.

That hearing was set for Wednesday before Greenup Circuit Judge Brian McCloud, but shortly after Stiltner and Waddell were led into the courtroom, Joy said he wished to withdraw the previous motion requesting a bond hearing and possible modification.

In January, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Joe Merkel requested the pair be held on $500,000 due to the severity of the crime, while Joy argued $50,000 for Waddell and $100,000 for Stiltner.

Wednesday's bond hearing had potential to reveal additional details of the alleged crime(s) leading up to Aubrey's death, which have been kept off record by investigating agencies and have not been mentioned in open court proceedings thus far.

With the motion for a possible bond modification off the table for now, Waddell and Stiltner are scheduled for a pre-trial conference on April 18.

Their bonds remain at $200,000 apiece.

(606) 326-2652 — mjepling@dailyindependent.com