Roseville man charged with manslaughter in child’s death

By: Brian Louwers | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 21, 2022




ROSEVILLE — After a 1-year-old girl died from what police initially said was “an unexplained head injury” in December, an acquaintance of the child’s mother has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Dennis Wayne Justus, 28, of Roseville, was arraigned by Judge Joseph Boedeker in the 39th District Court Jan. 18.

According to Roseville police, the incident happened Dec. 17, and investigators learned about it after the child was taken to the hospital for treatment. The girl eventually died, prompting an investigation that resulted in the warrant request and the current charge authorized by Macomb County prosecutors.

Roseville Police Chief Mitchell Berlin issued an updated statement Jan. 19, addressing the department’s investigation into the “suspicious death.”

“Based on the investigation, it was determined that the infant died from non-accidental injuries,” Berlin said. “Investigators determined that a male acquaintance of the infant’s mother, Dennis Wayne Justus, was responsible for the infant’s death. It is believed the infant sustained the injuries while being watched by Dennis Justus at her home.”

Berlin said in the statement that no further information would be released at this time, including the cause of death.

Reached for comment on the case, Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido said his office was awaiting the medical examiner’s full report and that the charge could be amended as a result.

Justus was ordered held with bail set at $300,000 and remained in the Macomb County Jail at press time. By order of the judge, he would be required to wear a GPS tether if released on bail.

He was represented at the arraignment by defense attorney Aaron Geyer.

“My client disputes the allegations,” Geyer said. He declined further comment at this time.

A probable cause conference was scheduled to be held remotely at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 26.