Couple faces charges in baby’s death

ROGERS CITY – A couple is in custody and facing charges relating to the death of a 22-day-old Bismarck Township baby.

Presque Isle County sheriff’s deputies recently arrested Joshua Tough and girlfriend Kirsten Richardson, according to a department release. Both are 18, and Tough is accused of felony murder and first-degree child abuse. Richardson, the child’s mother, faces a second-degree child abuse charge, and both have been arraigned in 89th District Court.

Court files show Tough’s preliminary exam is set for Aug. 5. No bond has been set, and Tough faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. Richardson could be sentenced to 10 years in prison. She’s being held on a $50,000 bond, according to the release.

Michigan State Police assisted with the investigation and arrests, according to the release.

Deputies investigated after the baby was taken to Alpena Regional Medical Center on April 3, according to a previous release from the department. He was placed on life support, then transferred to a Saginaw hospital where he died April 5.

A doctor who treated the baby confirmed the head and internal injuries were “non-accidental,” according to the release.

The baby was at home with his mother and her boyfriend in Bismarck Township on April 3 when he stopped breathing and emergency responders were called to the home. Deputies say no one else was home at the time.

Prosecutor Richard Steiger declined to release any information about the suspect in the April 5 death of the baby. An arrest was made in the case Thursday after the charges were filed.

“An arrest isn’t an indicator of guilt,” he said. “(They) is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.