Published October 24, 2013
Hearing delayed for mother charged in infant’s death
By Brian Louwers firstname.lastname@example.org
WARREN — A hearing to determine if a mother will stand trial for killing her two-week-old daughter has been adjourned for six weeks.
Flanked by her defense attorney, Louis Zaidan, and dressed in a Macomb County Jail uniform, Charliette Agnes Stalling, 25, of Warren, appeared in the 37th District Court Oct. 24 where she was arraigned earlier this month on a list of charges including felony murder and first-degree child abuse. The scheduled preliminary examination was adjourned by Visiting Judge Sherman Faunce while prosecutors and attorneys await the final report from an autopsy conducted after the baby, Jamiah Stalling, died Oct. 4.
Warren police said Stalling was arrested at her home hours after the baby passed away at the St. John Hospital in Detroit. The baby was reportedly transferred to the hospital on Moross from the St. John Macomb-Oakland hospital on 12 Mile Road in Warren after paramedics responded to a 911 call about a baby vomiting at a home on Orchard, east of Van Dyke and south of Toepfer, at about 1 p.m. Oct. 3.
Stalling allegedly left the hospital after the baby died the next day, before Detroit police arrived to speak with her. Investigators in Detroit later contacted Warren police and officers met Stalling outside of the home on Orchard, where she was taken into custody on outstanding traffic warrants and a drug charge.
She reportedly denied any wrongdoing when Warren police interviewed her about the baby’s death, and Zaidan told Faunce no evidence exists to support murder and child abuse charges.
“The facts of this case, your honor, is that they do not have any evidence that my client did anything to her child other than when she was baby feeding this child with a bottle, the child started to have milk coming from her nose,” Zaidan said. “My client immediately called 911. That’s the facts of this case. There’s nothing to show my client did anything to hurt this child. She did what any normal mother would do.”
Faunce denied Zaidan’s request to have Stalling released from custody to attend her baby’s funeral Oct. 30.
Chief Trial Attorney Therese Tobin of Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith’s office told the judge “external blows” resulted in three separate impacts to the child’s head. She said Macomb County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz determined that the baby’s death was caused by blunt-force trauma and that he labeled the death a homicide.
Faunce set bail for Stalling at $250,000 cash. He ordered her to remain at home on a tether if she is able to post bail and leave jail before her next court date at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 5.
“We have a dead child who was less than a month old and suffered terrible impacts that caused her death,” Tobin said. “This was a terrible death.”
Stalling has two other children, ages 4 and 7, who remain in the care of family members.
She faces up to life in prison if convicted of felony murder.
Call Staff Writer Brian C. Louwers at (586) 498-1089.