Friday, January 22, 2016

Custodial dad, step go on trial for torture, murder of 5-year-old daughter (Port Huron, Michigan)

We've posted on custodial dad ANDREW MAISON before.

See the Killer Dads and Custody list for Michigan.

Father and stepmother who 'starved five-year-old daughter to just 25lbs before her death' go on trial accused of murder, torture and child abuse
Mackenzie Maison, five, died weighing just 25 pounds in May last year
She was 'extremely pale' when her 'lifeless' body was taken to hospital
Police officers said the young girl's body was bruised 'from head to toe'
Her father Andrew Maison and stepmother Hilery Maison are on trial
They are accused of murdering and torturing Mackenzie by starving her
Couple are also charged with abusing her and her three-year-old sister

By Ollie Gillman For
Published: 09:01 EST, 21 January 2016 | Updated: 16:45 EST, 21 January 2016

A father and stepmother who allegedly starved their five-year-old daughter to death have gone on trial accused of murder, torture and child abuse.

Mackenzie Maison weighed just 25 pounds and was 'extremely pale' when her 'lifeless' body was carried out of her home in Port Huron, Michigan, on May 26 last year, a court heard.

Police officers who viewed Mackenzie's body after she died saw that she was bruised 'from head to toe', a jury was told.

Her father, Andrew Maison, and stepmother, Hilery Maison, face charges of child abuse, torture and murder, and are also accused of abusing Mackenzie's younger sister.

Prosecutor Mona Armstrong told a jury on Wednesday that they would hear 'a case about suffering, unimaginable suffering, that two young girls endured at the hands of the defendants'.

Mackenzie weighed 25 pounds on the day of her death, Armstrong said, the same weight she was when she was two years old.

The prosecuting attorney added that the girl's three-year-old sister was just 17 pounds when she was taken to the hospital that day and has since doubled in weight, the Times Herald reported.

Fireman Steven Conard was one of the first on the scene shortly after 8.30pm on the day Mackenzie died.

He told the court that Andrew Maison was attempting to give CPR to Mackenzie on the kitchen floor, but firefighters took her into an ambulance where they tried to revive her.

Conard said the father claimed he was giving his daughter a bath when she became unresponsive.

Paramedics tried to resuscitate Mackenzie in the ambulance but she was pronounced dead after arriving at St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron Hospital.

Detective Brian Kerrigan, who viewed Mackenzie's body after she died, was in court on Thursday and said he saw bruises on her body.

'It was obvious to me that there was a lot of bruising in different stages of healing on her body, basically from head to toe,' he said.

Police officer Andrew Teichow told the court on Wednesday that, after arriving at the hospital, he also spotted bruises on the girl's body.

'She was extremely thin. Her bones were coming out of her skin is what it looked like,' he said.

Fellow police officer James Morgan said cops spoke with the accused parents inside the home after Mackenzie was taken to hospital.

He said Mackenzie's three-year-old sister was one of three children sitting on a couch and that she appeared 'emaciated'.

'She seemed to have very low energy and spoke very quietly,' Morgan said, adding that she pointed to an empty glass and asked for milk.

The two other children in the room were Hilery Maison's biological children.

Andrew Maison's attorney, Frederick Lepley, said his client loved his children and that he was a hard-working father.

Michael Boucher, representing Hilery Maison, said Mackenzie and her three-year-old sister had underlying medical conditions and struggled to eat.

'Even with the biological mother, there were complaints about health problems,' he said.

Mackenzie's mother, Shelby Coffee - who is not standing trial - paid tribute to her daughter last year.

'She was five years old. She was the brightest little girl. Very independent, beautiful... and she was my world,' she told WJBK.

She added: 'Watch out for your kids. No matter what, no matter if you think you can trust each other or not. 'Make sure you watch out for your kids, because one day you can turn around and you'll be getting a phone call just like I did.'