A competency hearing has been scheduled for 30-year-old Donald Bebee II, who is currently facing charges for child abuse. His most recent court hearing has been postponed until the results of the test are available. Bebee’s defense attorney requested that he undergo the competency testing in order to determine whether or not he is able to stand trial.
Bebee is accused of abusing his 2-year-old son. According to court records, officers responded to an emergency call from Bebee’s home, where his son was allegedly unresponsive. Mt. Pleasant police responded to the scene, where Bebee was found, holding the boy wrapped in a towel.
According to Mt. Pleasant Police Officer Michael Covarrubias, who was one of the first responders on the scene, the child had multiple visible injuries on his body. In his testimony Covarrubias said that he observed bruising on the child’s head, torso, thigh and face. There was also a laceration scar on the top of his head, his anus was said to be red and blistered, and his right ankle was swollen.
The boy, whose mother was not home at the time, was airlifted to hospital in Grand Rapids. X-rays revealed both brain hemorrhaging and bilateral retinal hemorrhages, which are considered to be common symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome. In addition, the doctors handling the child’s examination told police that the injuries, some fresh and others in different stages of healing, suggested abuse.
During an interview with police, Bebee told officers that he suspected that some of the injuries his son had sustained were the result of rough play with the boy’s older, 5-year-old brother. He also said that he sometimes swung his son around by his ankle, which may account for the ankle injury. The redness and blistering on the child’s anus he explained was from diaper rash.
Bebee was charged with one count of first-degree child abuse and one count of second-degree child abuse. Under Michigan law, first-degree child abuse is a felony punishable by up to life in prison, while second-degree child abuse is a 10-year felony.