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Posted on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 9:08 a.m.

Man accused of killing 15-month-old boy to stand trial in April

By Kyle Feldscher

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

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.

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



Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

I pray that this monster is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I'm opposed to the death penalty, but when I read articles like this it causes me to reconsider my position.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.


Elena Chesney

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

We need to address child abuse and neglect in our community - it is unacceptable and far too common:


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

People complain about not getting enough details then complain about TMI. Can't please all of the people all the time. I think they should have waited until after the trial. If a jury trial makes it kind of hard to get jurists who haven't read the details.


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 12:57 a.m.

Agreed. This story was poorly reported. Way too much graphic detail. It's traumatizing. I'm not saying to turn a blind eye or stick our heads in the sand, but at very least a warning should have been offered. "Following story is graphic in nature a may not be appropriate for all audiences". This story needs editing. It's horrific.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

I agree, way too much information. This made me physically sick to my stomach. How horrifying that this kind of thing happens to innocent, helpless children.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

I will not read this update on this case. The original story was terrible enough. I would prefer not to see the "alleged" child abuser's face ever again. Please just photoshop a hood over his head and leave out the unbelievably horrible details on the next story.

say it plain

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

I totally could have lived without hearing the details on this crime. I mean, we sometimes fail to get details from this news-outlet about crimes that would and could cause us to change our behaviors to help protect ourselves or our fellow citizens. But here, we get the literal blow-by-blow on the hideous death of a defenseless child at the hands of a caretaker. All it has served to do for us is nauseate us and leave us that much more disgusted to consider that humans are capable of such behavior. Lurid. Nightmare-inducing. These details from a confession? From the prosecutors? I realize a crimes-reporter has to read it but that's no reason to pass it on in this form.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 6:16 a.m.

I disagree. I think it needs to be said. It is then less easily ignored.

Renee S.

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 1:04 a.m.

In other articles, acquaintances of the accused were defending him. I'd like to see them try that here.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 4:08 p.m.

whats really sad also is this man use to be around my niece and nephew. And child protecitve services or the courts don't care what kind of people their mother lets around them. All we have left is prayer!

Jessica Webster

Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

What a horrifying story.


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

Facing the stark reality that these things happen all around us is depressing. Who will save us from ourselves?


Wed, Jan 30, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

It's gloomy outside this morning but reading news like this and the other child abuse story on today would make even a sunny day gloomy. I wouldn't treat my dogs this way let alone a child. What is wrong with these people?