26-year-old Samantha Slater was arrested on Tuesday, April 23, on charges of child abuse. According to a news article at Mlive.com, Slater was at home when Brooklyn Weimer was allegedly abused by Benjamin Wilkins, Slater’s boyfriend, and almost killed according to Montcalm County prosecutors.
On March 24, Wilkins admitted that he was taking care of Slater’s daughter according to court documents. He alleges that he placed the child in the bathroom for a “time out,” then heard a thud a few minutes later. When Wilkins went into the room to check on the sound, he found her unresponsive. She was flown to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital with what doctors called life-threatening injuries. New reports state the doctors suspected abuse.
That evening at around 9:00 p.m., Wilkins called for an ambulance following a series of what were called “bizarre” calls with dispatchers and hospital staff. Wilkins allegedly reported that he had a friend who was injured, but later admitted that he had fabricated the stories, telling a detective that he and the child’s mother were fearful that DHS and police would become involved.
When officers arrived on the scene, the toddler was breathing but was unresponsive; it was determined at the hospital that she had suffered a closed head injury. She was listed in critical condition at the time, and in a medically induced coma.
When police arrested Samantha Slater on April 23, Wilkins was in jail for violating parole. Both are expected to face charges of first- and second-degree child abuse.
Michigan child abuse lawyers know that individuals facing charges of first- and second-degree child abuse face serious consequences if convicted. In fact, first-degree child abuse is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. However, there are times when innocent people end up behind bars for crimes they did not commit. Child abuse has become a serious topic in society today; when a child has a bruise caused by a fall, people are often quick to jump to conclusions.
If you or a loved one have been accused of abusing or endangering the welfare of a child, consult with an experienced and capable Michigan criminal defense attorney right away.