During arraignment, a niece said China Arnold wanted the baby girl and could not do such a thing, the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News said Wednesday. The 3 1/2-week-old died in August 2005.
"She's a mother. A mother wouldn't do something like this to her child," Malkia Johnson, 20, said of Arnold.
Bond was set at $1 million on a charge of aggravated murder in the death of Paris Talley.
Defense attorney Jon Paul Rion sought a lesser bond, saying Arnold, 26, did not leave the Dayton area in the 15 months since the infant's death, that she has three young sons -- now living with relatives -- and is working while attending community college.
"We believe China is completely innocent of these charges," Rion said outside of the courtroom Tuesday. "We believe this is a guess on behalf of the police. We believe that once the police hear the full story, she'll be acquitted by a jury."
Arnold's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 7.