Fruitport man faces life in prison on abuse charges

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:22 AM

Prosecutors said 23-year old Donald Thomas Bayne hit his girlfriend’s 9-month old daughter in the back of her head because the baby would not stop crying, WZZM-TV reported.

Bayne was charged Monday with first-degree child abuse and torturing the child, both felonies. 

WOOD-TV reported Bayne’s bond was set at $1 million. He is expected to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 16.

The baby has a fractured skull, and is in stable but serious condition at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, authorities said.

The incident happened last week at a home on Peach Street in Fruitport while Bayne’s girlfriend, the child’s mother, was a work. The Fruitport Fire Department arrived following Bayne’s call to 911 to report the baby had stopped breathing.

Bayne was arrested Friday after Child Protective Services and Fruitport Township Police detectives became involved in the case.

According to WOOD-TV, court records reveal Bayne is on probation for a 2009 incident in which he shot and beat a dog to death. At that time, Bayne was living with his grandparents in Muskegon County’s Laketon Township when he saw the neighbor’s dog in a wooded area behind the home. He claimed the dog turned on him when he tried to chase it from the property.

But the police investigation revealed Bayne shot the dog at least twice and then beat the animal, crushing its head. He then dragged the dog into the wooded area and tried covering it with snow.

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