In Michigan, a 20-year-old father who stands accused of killing his 6-month-old daughter when she cried while he was engrossed in playing video games has entered a plea of no contest.
Documents from the 42nd Circuit Court of Midland County, as examined by Law&Crime, reveal that on Thursday, September 21, 2023, Alex Lewis Marsh entered a plea of no contest to second-degree murder.
Consequently, the charges of first-degree child abuse and first-degree murder were not pursued as per Law and Crime report on Monday, September 25, 2023.
According to a sworn affidavit supporting a criminal complaint from June 2022, officers from the Midland Police Department were dispatched to the residence on the morning of May 18, 2022, where they discovered the lifeless body of Scarlett Marie Marsh.
Investigators determined that the infant’s mother was at her workplace, while the defendant was responsible for caring for the baby from the evening of May 17, 2022, through the early morning of the following day.
The EMS team, upon arrival, pronounced Scarlett deceased at the scene and estimated that she had been deceased for a considerable period.
Additionally, EMS observed an unusual presence of blood in the baby’s crib, as detailed in the affidavit.
Scarlett was discovered lifeless, lying on her back in the bedroom, with dried reddish liquid resembling blood visible inside the baby’s crib and beneath Scarlett’s nostrils.
Law enforcement officials reported that when questioned, the suspect stated that he had driven the baby’s mother to her workplace, returned home with the child, and mentioned that Scarlett had gone to sleep at 10:30 p.m. on May 17, 2022.
The accused reportedly mentioned that he woke up two hours later, now into the following day, to soothe the baby back to sleep.
Marsh claimed to have checked on the baby once more an hour and a half later and confirmed that she appeared to be in good condition, as stated by the police.
Marsh openly acknowledged that at 6 a.m. on that morning, he departed from the residence without verifying the baby’s well-being and without bringing Scarlett along when he went to pick up the child’s mother from her workplace.
“Upon returning to the apartment with [the baby’s mother], Alex reported that they discovered Scarlett lifeless in her crib,” as stated in the affidavit.
Scarlett’s mother informed the police that she expressed her frustration to the defendant when he didn’t bring the baby along to pick her up from work, as relayed by law enforcement.
A subsequent autopsy revealed no “external injuries,” but did identify “fixed lividity on the right side of [Scarlett’s] body (face and side) and on her back.”
Investigators concluded that the baby had been “repositioned after her demise,” and the examination indicated the presence of blood in her chest cavity.
In a subsequent interview with the police, the defendant purportedly confessed to providing false information about his actions regarding Scarlett after 6:30 p.m. on the day of the baby’s passing.
“Alex subsequently confessed that Scarlett was crying, and in response, he covered her in her crib with a large, heavy gray blanket, one that was adult-sized, concealing her entire body,” as detailed in the affidavit.
The defendant purportedly conceded that he had removed the blanket from the crib before the arrival of the police at the scene.
Law enforcement investigators determined, and prosecutors asserted, that Alex Marsh was engaged in playing video games at the time of Scarlett’s demise, which they attribute to asphyxiation in her crib.
In a court appearance in 2022, it was reported that Midland County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Atea Duso stated that the defendant appeared to prioritize playing video games over tending to his daughter’s needs.
In Michigan, second-degree murder carries a penalty of “life imprisonment or any specific term of years, as determined at the discretion of the court conducting the trial.”
Presently, court records do not indicate a scheduled sentencing date.