Baby Bentley's dad waives court hearing

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Justin McIntyre’s next scheduled court date is his arraignment Oct. 1 in Ottawa County Circuit Court on a charge of first-degree child abuse. He remains jailed on a $75,000 bond.

McIntyre did not appear in the courtroom full of media and cameras, although he was in the building. He signed the waiver papers prior to the scheduled 9:30 a.m. hearing, said his attorney, Joe Legatz.

Legatz said it is possible his client will also waive the Circuit Court arraignment. McIntyre could then enter a plea in the case, or a trial date would be set.

McIntyre was arrested Aug. 24 after he and other family members took his 6-week-old son to North Ottawa Community Hospital. Police said the boy, Bentley McIntyre, suffered a brain injury when his father allegedly shook him while the child’s mother was at work.

The child was transferred to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, where he remains today in fair condition.

On the "Prayers for Bentley" Facebook page, the baby's grandmother asked social-media friends to pray to help them get through the day Tuesday, as they faced the court hearing.

The child’s mother, Kaylee Zalsman, was in the courtroom Tuesday with her mother, Patti VanOmmen. Justin McIntyre’s parents were also in the courtroom, but asked not to be named or interviewed.

VanOmmen said Bentley has been smiling, cooing and recognizing voices. He is scheduled for an MRI for later this week, and the grandmother said she's hopeful the child would be able to go home this weekend.

To read more of this story, see Wednesday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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