CLINTON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) -- A Southern Kentucky man is behind bars after, police say, he slit his niece's throat.
Tuesday, Emanual Flutur, 33, pleaded not guilty.
The attack happened on Saturday on Beaty Creek Road in Clinton County.
Three-year-old Josephine Bulubenchi, also known as "Bay-Bay" died at UK Children's hospital Sunday evening, per the Fayette County Coroner.
According to his arrest citation, the victim's father heard someone attacking his child over a baby monitor.
We are told there were four other children inside the bedroom at the time the girl was killed.
Flutur was the child's uncle, worked with the family and had been living with the family at their home where the attack happened. Flutur's sister had nine children.
Flutur also attacked his brother-in-law.
"Separated from reality. He did realize what he did. And I know he is sorry for what he did," Dariu Flutur, who is the suspect's brother said.
Relatives said it is unreal what has happened to their close-knit Christian family in the last few days from the actions of a man they say has had mental health problems.
"He has a mental condition that he suffers with since he was in the army," said Dariu. "It's tough for us to understand because of what happened."
He was initially charged with first-degree assault and first-degree wanton endangerment but is now charged with murder.
"I forgive him as his older brother. And my sister told me to write in my letter that she forgives him, my brother-in-law forgives him. My nieces and nephews ask about him and they forgive him," Dariu said. "I want people to know that he loved his nieces and loved his nephews. He loved us. He loved me and his sister."
Neighbors told reporters they were shocked.
"They're such a beautiful family the kids, mom, and the dad, they are very friendly the kids are out in the yard playing a lot. It was just extremely heartbreaking. I just can't imagine someone being able to
do that," a neighbor said.
The jail told Lexington reporters that no mugshot is available because Flutur has been acting too violent to have his picture taken.
He will be back in court on December 18.