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156430 - People v Kelli Marie Worth-McBride

The People of the State of Michigan,


Daniel Hebel





(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)



(Wayne – Lillard, Q.)


Kelli Marie Worth-McBride,


Christine Pagac





Defendant left her infant in the care of her boyfriend, the infant’s father, while she ran an errand. She did so even though she had witnessed her boyfriend abuse the infant on at least four occasions. When she returned, she saw her boyfriend severely abusing their son. She intervened to stop the abuse and then directed a friend to call 911. The infant suffered numerous injuries, including multiple bone fractures that were at different stages of healing. The infant died of his injuries at the hospital. Defendant was charged with first-degree child abuse, MCL 750.136(b)(2), and first-degree felony murder, MCL 750.316. Following a bench trial, the trial court found defendant guilty of first-degree child abuse and second-degree murder, MCL 750.317. The court sentenced defendant to serve concurrent prison terms of 25 to 40 years in prison for first-degree child abuse and 15 to 30 years for second-degree murder. On appeal, defendant challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to convict. The Court of Appeals affirmed in an unpublished decision. The Supreme Court has ordered oral argument on defendant’s application for leave to appeal to address: (1) whether a parent/defendant, either as a principal or as an aider and abettor, can be convicted of first-degree child abuse or second-degree murder when a child suffers serious physical harm or death as a result of the parent/defendant leaving the child in the care of the other parent with knowledge that the other parent previously injured the child and that serious physical harm or death would be caused by leaving the child with the other parent; and (2) if so, whether the evidence is sufficient in this case to establish the defendant’s knowledge that serious physical harm or death would be caused by leaving the child with the other parent.  The case will be argued at the same session of the Court as People of MI v James Lee, Docket No. 157176.