Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Dad charged with 1st-degree murder in beating death of 3-month-old son (Elizabeth, New Jersey)

Still no explanation as to the circumstances behind dad MICHAEL BELL JR.'s access to the murdered baby. Was he "caretaking"? "Babysitting" while Mom was at work? Was this a court-ordered custody/vistation situtation? What? And what happened to the mother of this baby?


Plainfield infant allegedly assaulted dies; father charged with first-degree murder

May 14, 2013 3:36 PM
Written by Staff Report

ELIZABETH — The father of a Plainfield infant, who died after being gravely injured during an alleged assault Friday, is facing murder charges, authorities said.

The baby’s father, Michael Bell Jr., 34, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in connection with Monday’s death of his 3-month-old son, Zino Bell, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said.

Bell is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday at Union County Superior Court, Elizabeth.

Bell was arrested Saturday in Newark while on a bus on the way to Iowa, officials said.

The arrest was part of a cooperative investigation near Newark’s Penn Station between the Union County Homicide Task Force, New Jersey Transit Police Department and Amtrak Police Department. He was transported to the Union County Jail in Elizabeth and ordered held without bail.

Bell originally was charged with aggravated assault. The charges were upgraded to murder Tuesday afternoon.

According to the investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Plainfield Police Division, the baby was assaulted by his father Friday.

Officers were called to a house on the 200 block of Lee Place in Plainfield at about 10:35 p.m. and discovered the injured 3-month-old suffering from fractures and internal bleeding, authorities said.

Police transported the child to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he remained in grave condition until he was pronounced dead Monday afternoon.

The baby’s is believed to be Plainfield’s second homicide of 2013. A 44-year-old city man allegedly beat his mother to death in February.