Man enters plea in death of 4-month-old girl - WNEM TV 5

Man enters plea in death of 4-month-old girl

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Richard Watson Richard Watson

A Michigan man has pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse and second-degree homicide in the death of a 4-month-old baby girl.

Richard Watson, 44, of Mio, is accused in the death of his girlfriend’s daughter. The incident is believed to have occurred on Aug. 9 at a home in Midland, the Midland County Prosecutor's Office said.

About 3:30 p.m. that day medical responders and police officers were called to the IKEA store in Canton for an unresponsive 4-month-old, prosecutors said. She was accompanied by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend, Watson.

The child suffered respiratory and cardiac arrest, prosecutors said. She was transported to St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia and then later flown to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor where she died on Aug. 14.

Medical personnel said the child suffered massive internal brain injury. They also said she had signs of older fractures of at least three ribs and a fracture of her left tibia, prosecutors said, adding the medical staff determined the child was physically abused.

First-degree murder and open murder charges against Watson were dropped.

He will be sentenced on Oct. 12.

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