You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : noon

Man could face life in prison after conviction for torturing child

By Kyle Feldscher

A 22-year-old Superior Township man faces a sentence of up to life in prison after a jury found him guilty on torture and child abuse charges last week.


Harvey Wince

Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office

Harvey Wince was convicted during his second trial in the case, stemming from an April 1, 2012, incident in which he severely burned a 3-year-old boy, according to the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. Wince was originally tried in the case in November 2012, but a hung jury demanded a retrial.

The trial concluded on Thursday, resulting in a conviction on first-degree child abuse and torture charges, Sgt. Geoffrey Fox said Monday.

“The motives for Wince’s actions are unknown,” Fox said in a statement.

On April 1, 2012, Wince was watching the boy at a home in the 8900 block of MacArthur Boulevard in Superior Township. Wince’s 17-year-old girlfriend was usually the primary babysitter for the boy but had other plans that day, so the boy was left in Wince’s care.

During the evening, the simple babysitting job took a violent turn. Fox said in a statement Wince intentionally placed the boy in scalding hot bath water and held him there, causing severe burns. Investigators estimated the water was between 120 and 125 degrees.

Investigators said Wince held the boy in the water for at least one minute. At a preliminary exam, the boy's mother testified that the boy’s skin was falling off due to the severity of the burns.

The boy had to be treated at the University of Michigan Hospital’s intensive care burn unit from April 1 until May 21 last year, records show. Officials said burns covered 18 percent of the boy’s body.

The boy also suffered significant bruising all over his body and a lacerated liver due to blunt force trauma during the time Wince was watching him. Wince admitted to biting the child on the arm, Fox said.

Wince told police he put the boy in the bathtub with an ankle-deep amount of lukewarm water and went to play the video game “Call of Duty.” Returning to the bathroom later to check on the boy, he found him standing in the bathroom with “soggy” skin, according to Wince’s police statement. He said the boy likely turned the hot water on himself.

Wince was charged and arraigned in the case on April 4, 2012. The case originally went to trial but ended in a hung jury on Nov. 5.

James Fifelski, Wince’s attorney, was not immediately available for comment Monday morning.

Wince is held at the Washtenaw County Jail on a $50,000 cash or surety bond. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in the case at 1:30 p.m. April 22 by Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Darlene O’Brien, according to jail records.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison on both the torture and first-degree child abuse charges.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 3:19 a.m.

Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover.

Ryan Munson

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 3:17 p.m.

I wonder this man's background and what his childhood was like growing up? That doesn't excuse the heinous things he did to this boy, but it would gives all readers an idea of whether there is a connection.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Much child abuse goes unnoticed. Here in Michigan, Child Protective workers carry huge caseloads that are unmanageable. Many times, workers do not have adequate training to deal with what they see. The trauma these workers see also traumatizes them. If it's hard to write about it, imagine how much more difficult it is to deal with it on a daily basis. Encourage your State and Federal Legislators to appropriately fund CPS as well as support services for young parents. Most child abusers were abused themselves. Most prisoners in our Criminal Justice system were abused as children. Underfunding services to familes takes a huge human and economic toll.


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

Being a father, there are no words I can describe as to what should be done to this chump. Not even a man.

Local Yocal

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 11:01 p.m.

NO parole!


Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 2:11 p.m.


Superior Twp voter

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:52 p.m.

May the lengthy sentence make Harvey wince.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

Geez bad as these kind of stories are to read, they must be even tougher to have to write

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

It really is quite difficult to comprehend the things I'm writing at times.

Linda Peck

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

Yes, life in prison would be the right sentence.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 4:22 p.m.

Which Washtenaw County Judge will give him probation? Hope he's not in front of Morris...

Jay Thomas

Tue, Mar 26, 2013 : 12:35 a.m.

@Kyle: Thank God!

Kyle Feldscher

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 4:29 p.m.

Ben- Morris has retired and Judge O'Brien took over her docket.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

Toss the key away....just sayin