Dad STEVEN DEUMAN has been jailed pending his preliminary and detention hearings. He is charged with choking his 3-month-old daughter to death during a sexual assault.
Judge grants delay in hearing on daughter's death
Updated 04:11 p.m., Wednesday, August 24, 2011
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man charged in the choking death of his 3-month-old daughter during a sexual assault was granted a delay in hearings before a federal judge in Grand Rapids.
Steven Deuman was ordered jailed Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Ellen Carmody pending Sept. 2 preliminary and detention hearings.
Federal Public Defender Richard Stroba had requested more time to speak with Deuman and review evidence in the case.
The girl died Aug. 12 on the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indian Reservation, northwest of Traverse City. An autopsy indicated the baby was asphyxiated.
Federal authorities investigated the death because it occurred on a reservation. Deuman, the baby's mother and another child live on the reservation, according to court records.
Deuman claimed that he left the baby, surrounded by pillows and a comforter, on a bed in his bedroom while smoking a cigarette outside, an FBI agent said in an affidavit.
He went back inside after hearing the girl cry and said she was unresponsive on the floor between the head of the bed and a wall. Deuman claimed there was blood around her nose and mouth and that the fall may have killed her.
"Deuman was unable to provide any explanation for how (the baby) could have rolled off the bed, past the pillows and comforter, and onto the floor," the agent said.
He did not call 911, but called the baby's mother, put the child in his brother's car and began driving to a hospital. They turned around and returned to the house after seeing the baby's mother, Natasha Maitland, drive past them, according to the affidavit.
Maitland called 911 and was heading back toward the hospital when paramedics caught up with their car and began life saving procedures. The girl later was pronounced dead at the hospital.
An autopsy showed no injury consistent with a fall from a bed.
Stroba said Deuman has pleaded not guilty. The Associated Press left a message Wednesday afternoon seeking comment from Stroba.