27-year-old Derrick Wardell Mason III, a resident of Durand, has been arrested for the alleged abuse of a 22-month-old girl. According to police reports, the child in question was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries in February, and the investigation has resulted in both Mason and the child’s mother facing charges.
According to the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office, detectives began investigating the situation when the child’s mother, 19-year-old Abigail Rae Springs, brought her daughter Natalie to Sparrow hospital. The little girl was transferred from there to University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor for treatment of her injuries. Thus far very few details have been released about Natalie’s injuries, or what happened that led to her hospitalization.
What we do know is that both Springs and Mason are facing very serious child abuse charges as a result. Springs was arraigned in the Shiawassee County District Court on a single count of First Degree Child Abuse. Just days later, Mason appeared in the same court and was charged with the same crime.
Under Michigan law First Degree Child Abuse is defined as knowingly or intentionally inflicting “serious physical or mental harm” on a child. Physical harm in this category requires an injury that could be described as serious, including broken bones, burns, brain injuries, or internal injuries. Serious mental harm denotes harming a child’s mental ability to cope with the demands of life, or impairing the child’s judgment or behavior. It is a felony punishable by up to life in prison.
Both Springs and Mason are being held in the Shiawassee County Jail on $500,000 bonds. As of yet we have no information about whether or not they have posted bail. A probable cause hearing has been scheduled for both defendants on March 15th.
A press release from the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office says that the toddler is currently listed as being in critical but stable condition at the University of Michigan Hospital. Members of the community have come together to hold a vigil for the toddler and one woman has organized a teddy bear drive, which she hopes will give Natalie hope and let her know that people are rooting for her.
Currently authorities are seeking information about the situation that led to Natalie’s hospitalization. Anyone with information is asked to call the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Detective Bureau at 989-743-3411 ext. #2225.
Although there is very little information available about this case, we will keep a watchful eye out for developments in the case and keep you updated. Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of child abuse or child neglect in any form, please contact us immediately at 866 766 5245. The skilled attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience successfully defending parents and caregivers against allegations of abuse and neglect. We can help you too.