By JOHN SEEWER
The Associated Press
CANTON, Ohio — Before Bobby Cutts Jr. became a Canton police officer, he pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct in an incident an ex-girlfriend said left her worried about her safety. Later, he nearly lost his badge when his higher-ups alleged he had given his gun to a drug-dealing cousin.
Those cases pale in comparison with what Cutts is now accused of: killing girlfriend Jessie Davis, nearly nine months pregnant, and the unborn child, who Davis' family says is his. The couple's 2-year-old son had been left alone when Davis disappeared from her home, which was left in chaos, with overturned furniture, the contents of her purse scattered and a pool of bleach on the floor.
Cutts, 30, joined volunteers early in the search for Davis, 26, but stayed out of sight later as questions about him continued.
Before Saturday, when he was arrested, police said Cutts wasn't a suspect, but in his only interview he said he knew the focus was on him.
"I would be dumb and naive to think that they weren't treating me as a suspect," he told The (Canton) Repository.
He said he last spoke with Davis on June 13, about 90 minutes before she was last heard from in a telephone conversation with her mother.
Cutts has been on paid administrative leave from the police department. He worked the overnight patrol shift and coached youth baseball, basketball and football, said John Miller, president of the Canton patrolman's union.
"He's a good officer. He's got no problems at work. He treats people well," Miller said earlier in the week.
Cutts grew up playing sports in the city that is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and played football briefly at nearby Walsh University. That's where he met Nikki Giavasis, the mother of his first child, a 9-year-old daughter. Giavasis now is a model and actress in Los Angeles.
The two lived together for a while. But when she began seeing another man in 1998, Cutts was accused of breaking into her home while she was inside with former NBA player Shawn Kemp of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Cutts pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge and was sentenced to three years' probation. Giavasis told police she feared for her safety.
The pair are involved in a custody dispute over their daughter. The girl lived with Cutts last summer and is now with Giavasis, said her attorney, Jeffrey Jakmides.
Two years after the altercation with Giavasis, Cutts joined the Canton police department.
He also married and had a daughter with his wife, and has remained married despite the relationship with Davis. Cutts has said he and his wife are separated and that she knew about the relationship.
Cutts' bosses tried to fire him in 2003 when authorities conducting a drug raid on his cousin's home found Cutts' handgun hidden under a mattress. Canton police officials said Cutts gave the gun to his cousin for protection and said Cutts was lying when he reported the gun stolen.
A federal arbitrator ordered the city to reinstate the officer, saying police had not proven the allegation.
Investigators repeatedly searched Cutts' house, a split-level home in a middle-class neighborhood with a swingset and a pink child's playhouse in the back yard.
Davis' family was not commenting Saturday, but earlier her mother, Patricia Porter, said that although she suspected Cutts, she hoped those suspicions would be proven false.
"I pray everyday that it's not Bobby Cutts," she told CNN's Larry King. "I want it to be someone that doesn't even know us.