CADILLAC — After a lengthy investigation, police arrested a 24-year-old Buckley man in December on charges related to the death of his 8-week-old son.
Recently, Tyler Keith Russell stood mute to those charges in 28th Circuit Court. Russell stood mute to two felony offenses including involuntary manslaughter and first-degree child abuse for his connection with an incident on Sept. 28 in Mesick. If convicted, Russell faces up to 15 years in prison and/or $7,500 in fines for the manslaughter offense and up to life in prison on the child abuse charge.
The charges in question are only accusations. Russell is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
On Sept. 28, troopers from the Michigan State Police Cadillac Post responded to a report of an unresponsive infant at a Mesick residence, according to an MSP press release.
An 8-week-old infant, Xavier Russell, was transported by ambulance to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. Lifesaving efforts were attempted, but the infant died after his arrival at the hospital, police said.
The infant’s autopsy was completed at the Homer Stryker School of Medicine in Kalamazoo. Further tests and studies were completed by a neuropathologist. The manner of death was determined to be a homicide, caused by acute brain and spinal injuries.
Wexford County Prosecutor Jason Elmore reviewed the investigation and authorized the aforementioned charges. He had no further comment regarding this case or the arraignment.
A $15,000 cash or surety bond was continued by the court.