A man accused of murder in connection with the child-abuse related death of his girlfriend’s 18-month-old son said Friday it “really hurts my heart” that people think he would harm the boy.
William Mark Warren, 23, was formally charged Friday with felony murder and first-degree child abuse in the death of Amere Carver.
The victim’s mother, 22-year-old Brandee Danielle Wright, also was arraigned on charges of manslaughter, child abuse, second-degree child abuse and lying to a peace officer.
If convicted of the principle charge, Warren would be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. Wright faces up to 15 years in prison.
Magistrate Kim Silvestro of Clinton Township’s 41B District Court ordered Warren held without bond. Bond for Wright was set at $1 million.
During Friday’s video arraignment, Warren addressed Silvestro and a courtroom packed with friends and relatives of the defendants.
He told the magistrate he is the father of a 4-year-old girl “who “depends on me.” He also spoke of his affection for Amere and said the abuse allegations “really hurts my heart.”
Warren was particularly agitated when Silvestro told him he is not permitted to have any contact with his daughter while the charges against him are pending.
“My daughter is my everything,” Warren told the magistrate. “I’ve done nothing but cooperate with you guys. I’ve done everything to (meet) my responsibilities as a man. I’m not a bad guy at all.”
Attorney Wyatt Harris, retained to represent Wright, said his client is remorseful because of her son’s fate. He also said any case is difficult when it involves the death of a child.
“It’s unfortunate because a parent has lost a child,” Harris said.
The charges against Warren and Wright rise from the Aug. 13 death of the toddler, Amere. The boy was hospitalized two days earlier with what police described as severe head trauma and other serious injuries suffered while in Warren’s care Aug. 11.
Wright found the child limp and unresponsive when she returned to the Clinton Township apartment.
Physicians at McLaren Macomb hospital in Mount Clemens also discovered a severe burn on one of the child’s fingers when he was admitted. The boy was subsequently transferred to Children’s Hospital, but died two days later.
Police also have accused Wright of trying to cover up the crime by asking a roommate to lie to police about who was watching the child.
Warren and Wright are due back in court Oct. 7 for a probable cause conference. A preliminary examination for the two is set for Oct. 14.