GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan judge who says she was shocked by the "callousness" of a father when he reported the death of his malnourished 10-month-old daughter has ordered both parents to be tried for murder.
Seth Welch and Tatiana Fusari were charged in August with murder and first-degree child abuse after their daughter, Mary, was found unresponsive in their Solon Township home. An autopsy found she died of malnutrition and dehydration due to neglect. Mary weighed only eight pounds (3.63 kilograms).
Judge Sara Smolenski on Wednesday ordered Welch and Fusari to stand trial.
Defense lawyers argued that the parents thought their child was skinny, but not sickly and didn't intentionally or knowingly cause harm. Smolenski says the damage was obvious and that the girl's death "is as horrific as it gets."