Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dad accused of severely abusing 3-week-old baby (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Dad is identified as DAVID JOSEPH STEIGER.

Sparta father turns down plea offer, stands accused of causing 19 fractures to 3-week-old infant By Barton Deiters on September 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM, updated September 25, 2013 at 4:47 PM

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The father of a baby doctors say had 19 bone fractures decided to turn down a plea offer that would have had him serving between two-and-a-half and 10 years in prison.

David Joseph Steiger now faces a potential life sentence on a charge of first-degree child abuse for allegedly breaking the bones of his son Jaxon around June 30 in northern Kent County.

Sparta police were called to a home on Gunn Street in Sparta to investigate a possible child abuse case.

During a police interview, 19-year-old Steiger allegedly admitted to “pushing” the baby’s legs and hearing a "pop." He told police the infants legs did not move right after that.

The couple took the 3-week-old child to a hospital on June 30 after he would not stop crying, police said.

Doctors say the child's femur and tibia in his left leg were broken and doctors also discovered 17 other fractures on the boy, according to police.

Investigators say Steiger admitted to “pushing” the child's legs and he also said the boy fell off a couch.

"Defendant admitted he could have caused the injuries, however he blacked out," a police investigator wrote in an affidavit.

Steiger allegedly told police that he and his wife were the child's only caregivers and claimed his wife was not responsible for any injuries.

Attorney Jessica Lowrey said during a Kent County Circuit Court hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 25, that her client rejected the offer from Kent County Assistant Prosecutor Helen Brinkman, but negotiations would continue prior to a trial.

The prosecution offered to limit Steiger's sentence to a minimum of just more than two, but less than four years with a maximum sentence of 10 years if he would plead guilty as charged.