One of the three defendants in a drug case in which a 14-month-old girl nearly died in September pleaded not guilty to six charges in Natrona County District Court on Friday.

Jason Cathcart, 34, entered the pleas during his arraignment before Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking.

Cathcart is charged with four felony counts of child endangerment by having methamphetamine in their presence, one felony count of possession of methamphetamine in liquid form greater than three-tenths of a gram, and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.

After entering his not guilty plea, Wilking agreed to Assistant District Attorney Dan Itzen's recommendation to increase Cathcart's bond from $15,000 to $25,000.

While he was free on bond, he and co-defendant Stephanie Shirts were arrested for shoplifting at Walmart on Oct. 12.

In September, Cathcart and Shirts were arrested after police went to his house in the 1700 block of South Fairdale Avenue, where they and co-defendant Bobbi Humpreys lived. Police found drugs, paraphernalia, and three children. The children did not appear to have any injuries, and they were taken into protective custody.
However, the child at the center of the case was not so fortunate.
On Sept. 16, police received a call from the Wyoming Medical Center where medical personnel told him about a girl brought to the emergency room with a significant head injury who was unresponsive, had hematomas in the head, and a large scabbed area to the left rear area of the head.
The girl, Humphreys' daughter, was allegedly injured by Shirts who burned the girl's head with a hot pan and nearly smothered her.
The girl was taken by Life Flight to Denver Children's Hospital. Authorities have declined to comment on the child's condition.