Shaken baby murder trial delayed again

Cameron Toppen

The trial date for a Grand Haven man charged with killing his girlfriend’s infant daughter has been moved again.

Cameron Michael Toppen, 20, is charged with first-degree child abuse and open murder for an incident that occurred on Nov. 15, 2018.

His two-day trial, most recently scheduled to begin Aug. 14, is now set for Jan. 14, 2020.

“It’s a complicated case,” defense attorney John Moritz said Wednesday afternoon. “The expert witnesses need more time to review all the complicated medical information.”

Moritz said the prosecutor was agreeable to the delay.

There is no consideration of a plea at this time, the defense attorney added.

According to earlier court testimony, Toppen was watching 8-month-old Scarlett Ray-Marie Burroughs while the child’s mother was at work.

Toppen was alone with the child and became frustrated with the child’s crying and “snapped,” according to Detective Tyler Kempema of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

The child became unresponsive and was taken to the hospital. She died two days later at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

During a preliminary hearing earlier this year, Dr. David Start, a forensic pathologist who conducted an autopsy on the child, testified that she had died of a head injury consistent with rapid shaking.

Toppen remains lodged in the Ottawa County Jail, without the possibility of bond. He has been lodged since his arrest in November 2018.

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