“Brandon Joshua-Frederick Hayes, 24, “systematically beat” Dominick Calhoun, 4, “pummeling [him] with fists and kicking him” on his arms, legs and genitalia, Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton told CNN.
Hayes also apparently burned the boy in the course of the torture. “The knuckles across one hand were charred,” Argentine Township police chief Dan Allen said.
“I’ve been doing this a long time, and this is the worst case of child abuse I’ve ever seen,” the police chief said. “In all respects, he was tortured.”
Prosecutors arraigned Hayes on Thursday on nine charges, including one count of first-degree premeditated murder, one count of first-degree child abuse and one count of torture, which by itself carries a possible life sentence.
Hayes’ motivation for his savage multiday attack on the boy was that the child “had wet his pants,” Leyton said. “It had happened before.”
Hayes also resented the child because his “biological father wouldn’t pay child support,” Leyton said.
Dominick’s mother, Corrine Baker, was present for at least some of the beating and tried to shield the boy from Hayes’ aggression, authorities said.
“She tried to lay on top of the child to guard the child against being beat any further, but she was beat in the process,” according to the police chief.
The sequence of events that led to the discovery of the abuse began when Baker’s sister and several acquaintances came to the apartment to buy drugs from Hayes, according to Allen. After seeing Dominick’s condition, the sister alerted the boy’s paternal grandfather, who in turn contacted authorities.
When emergency responders entered the apartment on the afternoon of April 11, Dominick was “barely alive.” EMS transferred him to Hurley Hospital in Flint, where he was pronounced brain dead.”
I wrote the County Prosecutor in this case and told him to consider filing charges of felony child abuse, or felony child endangerment against Dominick’s mother, Corrine Baker, if it is found that she knowingly placed her son in danger, and or, if she did not call authorities after the boy was tortured.
Many people find it difficult to place responsibility on a mother, who does not protect her child from being sexually or physically abused by her husband or boyfriend, but contrary to what we would like to believe, most women know about ongoing abuse taking place in the home, or they have a gut instinct and ignore it. People who accommodate child abusers with their silence give consent to the crime, and women who do this are guilty of treason. Most women who guard the abuser do so out of self-convenience and material needs, not because they are “victims too.” It is a chosen ignorance.
Too often, prosecutors do not implement the laws that are designed to hold a person criminally responsible for knowingly protecting a child abuser. If women clearly understood that they will be held criminally liable if they do not report abuse or incest going on in the home, then countless children will no longer suffer. One of the main reasons that child abuse continues, is the silence by those who knew about the abuse or suspected it.
In some states, it is considered a class three felony when a mother does nothing to stop the child abuse in her home. Some people might have a problem charging a woman with a class three felony for child endangerment when she did not abuse the child herself, but it is a felony to the mind, body, and soul of a child when their own mother continues to allow them to be assaulted in order to protect her husband, boyfriend, father, or son. Mothers who refuse to call authorities on the perpetrator are guilty of reckless indifference and complying with a crime.
The law in the state of New Mexico says that fear is no excuse for a woman to not protect her child. I hope that all states take on this wisdom.