Baby’s death leads to charges

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

A Rosebush woman, Erica Houghton, 32, is facing five felony charges after her seven-week-old son died while sleeping in her bed with her.

Erica Houghton

Erica Houghton

The charges relate to an investigation by the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department, which began with a call to Central Dispatch on August 2.

Houghton told arriving deputies she found the child, Bentley, dead in the morning. She told officers she was exhausted after work and after feeding the baby, took him to bed with her. Her two year old son and boyfriend Kyle Hiskey were sleeping in the same bed.

She said when she went to sleep the baby was in the crook of her arm. When she woke up she had been sleeping with her head at the foot of the bed and the baby was by her legs and completely covered with a blanket.

When she uncovered the baby a short time later, she discovered the baby was dead. She told investigators that she didn’t know that sleeping with an infant could be dangerous, although hospital records revealed she was told it was unsafe.

Investigators reports say the home was in “deplorable” condition.

At her arraignment in Isabella County Court November 3rd, Houghton was charged with two ten-year felony counts: second degree child abuse and second degree child abuse committed in the presence of another child; and with misdemeanors including: lying to a peace officer in four-year or more crime investigation (a two-year, high court misdemeanor); fourth-degree child abuse (one-year misdemeanor); lying to a peace officer in misdemeanor investigation (93-day misdemeanor); and contributing to the delinquency of children (90-day misdemeanor).

Houghton’s bond was set at $60,000/ ten percent. A preliminary exam will be held November 16.

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