Charges dropped in baby’s death
Medical examiner: Infant accidentally suffocated in sleep
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.