Michigan man gets two life sentences for murder of 4-year-old

Brandon Hayes tortured 4-year-old Dominick for days as the boy's terrified mother stood by.

A Michigan couple was sentenced on February 27 for the death of 4-year-old Dominick Calhoun. The tot’s mother, Corrine Baker, was sentenced by Genesee County Circuit Judge Richard B. Yuille to 13 to 30 years confinement for her role in the death. Dominick died after what police and prosecutors said was a beating and torture by Baker’s erstwhile male companion Brandon Hayes. Hayes received two life sentences for first-degree murder, torture and child abuse.

Baker pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree, as well as to child abuse charges, and given a reduced sentence in exchange for testifying against Hayes. The sphinx-like Hayes was silent during sentencing, in which in addition to the two life sentences he was given 60 to 90 years for torture, 20 to 50 years for child abuse in the first degree, 100 to 150 years for second-degree murder, 10 to 20 years for assault, 5 to 15 years for each of three narcotics charges and another year for child abuse in the fourth degree.

According to Genesee County Sherriff Robert Pickell, Hayes (26) beat Dominick on the head, kicked him the groin and jabbed his eyes after the boy had urinated on a sofa whilst eating his breakfast. After being found beaten and listless on April 11, 2010, Dominick was taken to a hospital in Flint MI where he died the following day after being taken off life support.

Eric Calhoun, Dominick’s father, expressed satisfaction with the verdict and sentencing and said that he was moving on with life. Following the sentencing,  Dominick’s grandfather Rick Calhoun received embraces from supporters in the hallway outside of court in a case that has galvanized the depressed Midwestern city.

(Corinne Baker and sons in happier days)

Before sentences were read in the somber courtroom, Melanie Calhoun – Dominick’s aunt – addressed the proceedings on behalf of the boy’s family. She questioned why Baker – Dominick’s mother – had not left Hayes behind and take her two children to safety. Prosecutors say that Baker had a deaf ear for Dominick’s plaints for help. While recognizing that it was Hayes who ravaged the little boy,

Melanie Calhoun said that Baker also bears a burden of guilt. Comparing convicted killer Hayes to a murderous weapon, Calhoun said “Corrine is the one that loaded that weapon by putting the boys in that situation.” The surviving boy is now in the custody of relatives.

As Baker wept before the bench in apparent remorse, Judge Yuille said “I hope some of those tears are for Dominick...But I have my doubts.” Before receiving her sentence, Baker said “I will have to answer to God one day, and I only hope that I will be forgiven.” Baker was herself abused by Hayes and expressed the hope that Dominick’s death will increase awareness of abuse. “I know that my son did not die in vain,” she said.

Addressing the laconic Hayes, Judge Yuille said that over the course of the trial he became increasingly amazed at the extent of the savagery directed at the little boy. Yuille said “I would sit out here at night and wonder how this could even happen. I thought the trial could provide some answers but it never did.”

 



Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

Comments

Argentine president says prosecutor's death was not suicide

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead this week after claiming he had evidence that President Kirchner sought to stop an investigation into a 1992 terrorist bombing that invovled Iran and Hezbollah.

Exclusive interview with fallen Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman

Prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead on Jan 18, the day he was to give testimony linking the Argentine president with a cover-up of Iranian terrorism. This is an unpublished and exclusive interview with him on April 16, 2014.

Suicide? Argentine official received death threats

Alberto Nisman was investigating ties between Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and Iran. He said that transcripts prove she made deal with Iranians and forego prosecuting Iranians for terrorist bombing.

Argentine who implicated president in terrorism is dead

Special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, investigator of 1994 terrorist bombing that killed dozens at a Jewish center, was found dead on the day before he was to present testimony. He implicated Pres.Fernandez de Kirchner in oil/grain swap with Iran.

Global warming trend is up, say NASA and NOAA

2014 was the hottest year on record. Marc Morano, a climate-change skeptic, points out discrepancies in datasets.

Crucified Again: persecution of Christians becomes more widespread

Approximately 100,000 Christians die every year because of their faith. One thousand Nigerian churches destroyed in 2014.

This page took 0.1406seconds to load