Evelyn Patricia Legacy was just 4 months old when shed died at CS Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Aug. 14.
According to medical records, Evelyn was killed by a traumatic brain injury, but according to Midland County Prosecutor J. Dee Brooks, she also suffered other serious injuries in the past, including three fractured ribs and a broken lower leg. Now, 44-year-old Richard Paul Watson of Mio is facing charges of first-degree child abuse and open murder in connection with the toddler’s death, Midland Daily News reported.
Brooks said in court that Watson, a veteran, dated Legacy’s mother, Sarah Ann Legacy, and that the couple took the infant to an Ikea store in Canton on Aug. 9, where employees noticed there was something amiss with the baby and called for help. Responders found that Evelyn was suffering from “severe respiratory problems” and took her to St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia before she was airlifted to CS Mott Children’s Hospital, where she later died.
According to an online obituary provided by ObitMichigan.com, Evelyn was born in Midland, but she will be buried in Bay City, Michigan, on Aug. 24.
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Watson was not Evelyn’s father, and he admitted to detectives that he “snapped and began shaking the baby in her crib” after she wouldn't stop crying on the night of Aug. 8.
Midland County District Court Judge Michael D. Carpenter entered a plea of not guilty on Watson’s behalf. Carpenter denied bond for Watson.
Watson will be using a court-appointed attorney since he is in the process of filing for bankruptcy following a divorce. He’s currently unemployed, but receives disability benefits and income form the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. During his arraignment on Tuesday, Watson said he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury in addition to being blind in one eye and deaf in one ear.
He will be due back in court on Sept. 8. All of his charges are felonies punishable by up to life in prison.