Man accused of killing 15-month-old boy to stand trial in April
The 34-year-old man accused of killing a 15-month-old child following a night of abuse will go to trial in April.
Michael Curtiss, of Ypsilanti Township, was in court for a pretrial hearing in front of Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge Donald Shelton Tuesday. After a short bench conference, Shelton set the case for trial at 8 a.m. April 15. A final pretrial hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. March 12.
Curtiss is accused of pushing Chase Miller into a TV stand during a heroin-induced rage on the night of Oct. 21. Curtiss was babysitting Miller for his girlfriend, who had to go to work.
According to court testimony, Curtiss snorted heroin about 20 minutes before Chase vomited on himself at the home in the 1100 block of Fall River Road in Ypsilanti Township.
When the child threw up, Curtiss went into a rage. Testimony from police at a preliminary hearing in December alleges Curtiss threw the child onto a bed with enough force the 15-month-old bounced off and hit a wall. Curtiss allegedly undressed Miller and forced him to sit on a toilet. The child was too young to be potty-trained and fell into the toilet bowl, according to police.
Curtiss drew a bath for the child and put Chase into a safety seat, but didn’t secure it, allowing him to get out of the bathtub and wander into the master bedroom. Police testified Miller urinated on himself. Curtiss then allegedly pushed Chase's head, causing the child to fall backward into a TV stand. The injuries eventually killed the child.
In addition to the fatal injury to the back of his head, Chase suffered bruising on his legs, buttocks and genitals, according to Washtenaw County Medical Examiner’s Office officials.
Curtiss faces charges of open murder, first-degree child abuse and possession of less than 25 grams of heroin. If convicted on either the murder or child abuse charges, Curtiss could spend the rest of his life in prison. He remains held in the Washtenaw County Jail without bond.