Hearing for Norfolk couple charged in death of toddler delayed

Posted at 12:20 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-18 18:07:07-04

John Tucker Hardee and Shelby Love.

NORFOLK, Va. - It has been nearly three months since two-year-old Harley Rae was killed at her Ocean View home, but her cause of death is still being investigated.

According to the Commonwealth Attorney's Office, the Medical Examiner is still working on Rae's autopsy and toxicology report. Since they do not know how the toddler died yet, they asked for her mother's and mother's boyfriend's preliminary hearings to be continued until September 10.

Shelby Love and John Tucker Hardee were arrested shortly after Rae was found unresponsive at her home. First responders found Rae with burns all over her body. She was taken to Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, where she was pronounced dead.

In court Wednesday, Love showed little emotion. She remained hunched over in her chair and did not say a single word. In the courtroom, Love's attorney said she is requesting that her client be tested to see if she is competent to stand trial.

According to the judge, Hardee has been threatening violence while in custody. In court, the judge said Hardee refused to come out for his proceeding if news cameras were in the room. Before coming into the courtroom he screamed, "No media, right?" He was surrounded by guards as he was escorted in.

Preliminary hearings for both Love and Hardee are now scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on September 10. The autopsy results are expected to be completed by then.


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