On Friday, October 12, 32-year-old D’Andre Lane was found guilty by jurors of first-degree felony murder and child abuse. Lane is accused of killing his 2-year-old daughter, Bianca “Bacon” Jones, in December of 2011 although her body has never been found. Banika Jones, mother of the alleged victim, believes that Bianca is still alive, and that Lane is innocent of the charges against him.
The verdict came about 1 p.m. on Friday following a full day of deliberations. Lane, whose sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 16, intends to appeal according to news reports. Lane faces up to life in prison, the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder.
On December 2, it was alleged by prosecutors that Bianca wet the bed in the middle of the night and that Lane then beat her to death with a tape-wrapped stick, what they would later label a “cudgel.” He disposed of her body the next morning by covering her with a blanket, then taking it to a still undetermined location after delivering another daughter and nephew to their destinations. News reports claim that while the body has not been recovered, cadaver dogs indicated that at one time there had been human remains in Lane’s vehicle.
Lane told what prosecutors believe to be a fabricated story, claiming that he was carjacked and Bianca abducted as he was driving to the girl’s mother’s home to get her some clothes. Lane’s vehicle was found by police approximately 6 blocks away, still running.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Qiana Lillard, the weapon which Lane called a paddle was in her opinion a “cudgel,” a stick designed to be used as a weapon. She claimed that spanking a child to potty train him or her using a weapon made for that purpose is child abuse.
Several witnesses, along with Bianca’s mother, testified that they did not believe Lane killed his daughter, and that he was a caring father regardless of whether he used the stick to discipline his daughter. Banika Jones served from 1999 to 2002 as a chemical operations specialist in the U.S. Army; she claimed that she and Lane used corporal punishment to discipline their daughter, and that it was no one else’s business.
Michigan criminal defense lawyers know it’s often difficult to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt when there is no body; however in this case the defendant was found guilty.
If you have been charged with murder or homicide, it is imperative that you consult with an aggressive Michigan murder defense attorney at once. Without capable legal representation, your freedom and future are in serious jeopardy.