Mom pleads not guilty to murder in DeKalb hot-car death of baby


The 25-year-old mother accused of leaving her baby daughter in a car to die during a summer hair appointment has pleaded not guilty in DeKalb County.

Dijanelle Fowler is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 1-year-old Skylar Fowler. She entered her plea before Judge Linda Hunter Thursday, officials confirmed Monday.

Prosecutor Dalia Racine has said there was no question the child died while the mother got her hair braided at a Lavista Road salon on June 15.

Testing shows the temperature in the car rose to 129 degrees, the heat index more than 150, Racine said.

Fowler was reportedly inside the salon for five and a half hours.

“No rush,” she told the hairdresser, according to Racine. “Take your time.”

Fowler, who was in town from South Carolina for a job interview, told employees at the salon the child was at day care.

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Fowler has said she left the air conditioning running in the car, which police have also said is also their understanding. But the prosecutor told a judge during a previous hearing that the state actually has no evidence of that.

Defense attorney Charles Brant has said it’s clear the air conditioning is why the car’s battery died, leading Fowler to need help getting it jump started.

Later, she drove to Emory University Hospital.

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