Charges dropped in baby’s death

Med­i­cal ex­am­iner: In­fant ac­ci­den­tally suf­fo­cated in sleep

The Detroit News - - Front Page - BY ORALANDAR BRAND-WIL­LIAMS The Detroit News

Charges were dropped Thurs­day against a 22-yearold Detroit man in con­nec­tion with the death of his in­fant daugh­ter, the Wayne County Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner’s Of­fice an­nounced.

The crim­i­nal case against James Lee Salt­mar­shall was dis­missed be­fore Judge Sab­rina John­son of Inkster Dis­trict Court.

“Af­ter an ex­ten­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion and based upon the June 16, 2017, re­port from the Wayne County Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner, it has been de­ter­mined that the cause of death of the child was as­phyxia and the man­ner of death was de­ter­mined to be an ac­ci­dent,” the Wayne County Pros­e­cu­tor’s Of­fice said in a news re­lease.

“Mr. Salt­mar­shall and his daugh­ter were de­ter­mined to have slept ad­ja­cent to each other on an adult-sized bed and upon wak­ing Mr. Salt­mar­shall found the child un­re­spon­sive,” the re­lease said. “To­day (the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice) moved to have the case ... dis­missed in the best in­ter­ests of jus­tice.”

Salt­mar­shall was charged in April with felony mur­der, first-de­gree child abuse and first-de­gree crim­i­nal sex­ual con­duct in con­nec­tion with the death of his 8-month-old daugh­ter at a Michi­gan Av­enue ho­tel in Inkster. He was ar­raigned on the charges April 26.

The next day, the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice re­quested a per­sonal bond and a GPS tether for Salt­mar­shall “based upon an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice said Thurs­day.

Author­i­ties said Salt­mar­shall was alone with the in­fant while the child’s mother went to work the morn­ing of April 20.

Salt­mar­shall called Inkster po­lice to the mo­tel around 4:23 p.m. and po­lice and fire­fight­ers found the in­fant un­re­spon­sive. The child was taken to a hospi­tal, where she died April 23.

Author­i­ties had al­leged Salt­mar­shall killed the child by caus­ing trauma to her head; the in­fant had ev­i­dence of rec­tal tear­ing, the pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice said in April when charges were brought.


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