Michael Curtiss, a 34-year-old Ypsilanti Township man, is scheduled to stand trial for the death of a 15-month-old boy on April 15. Curtiss is accused of killing the child in October of 2012, after pushing him into a television stand while babysitting for his girlfriend and in a heroin-induced rage. Curtiss’ pretrial hearing is scheduled on March 12 at 1:30 p.m.
While babysitting for his girlfriend’s son, Chase Miller, Curtiss allegedly snorted heroin at her home. The boy began throwing up just a few minutes after Curtiss had ingested the heroin, which threw Curtiss into a rage according to news reports at AnnArbor.com. A chain of events ensued which eventually caused the child’s death, according to testimony from police.
Police say that Curtiss threw the boy onto a bed after he began getting sick, and that the force caused the 15-month-old to bounce and strike a wall. The defendant then forced the child, who was too young to be potty-trained, to sit on the toilet after removing his clothes. Chase fell into the toilet bowl and Curtiss ran a bath to clean him up, but failed to secure a safety seat he had placed the toddler into. Chase then climbed out of the tub and went into the master bedroom, where he urinated on himself. In a fit of rage, Curtiss shoved the toddler’s head which caused him to fall backward, striking a television stand. Chase eventually died from his injuries, according to police.
Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office officials stated that the toddler also sustained bruising to his buttocks, genitals, and legs, in addition to the fatal head injury.
Curtiss remains incarcerated in the Washtenaw County Jail without bond, and faces charges of first-degree child abuse, open murder, and possession of less than 25 grams of heroin.
Experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyers know that if convicted, Curtiss may be imprisoned for life. Open murder and first-degree child abuse are extremely serious charges, leaving those convicted facing life-changing consequences.
Individuals who are under investigation or who have been arrested for violent or serious offenses including murder or homicide must contact an aggressive Michigan criminal defense attorney who will work to protect your legal rights, and keep you out of jail.