An Allen Park father has been officially charged with the murder of his two children. Prosecutor Kym Worthy has charged 27-year-old Steven Nicholson with two counts of first degree murder, a felony punishable by life in prison, and two counts of child abuse.
Officials say 15-month-old Ella Stafford and 13-month old Jonathon Sanderlin, were scalded and drowned when they were discovered at an Allen Park apartment building early Tuesday morning. Nicholson will be arraigned today at 11:30 in 24th District Court in Allen Park.
“The alleged facts in this case have affected even the most seasoned prosecutors in this office,” Worthy said in a written statement. “We stand ready to bring this case to justice in a court of law.”
Allen Park police said they got a 911 call from Nicholson shortly after 2 a.m. Tuesday. Besides discovering the bodies in the ground-level apartment, officers found the carpeted hallway and a nearby laundry room soaked with water. Crib pieces and mattresses were seized.
WWJ spoke Friday with Nicholson’s aunt, Sandy Kirby, who said being in a tough position doesn’t make her nephew a killer.
“We he a little overwhelmed? Hell yes he was. He was trying to raise two children on this own. I raised children with a husband, and there were many times I was overwhelmed. Does that mean he would harm them? No it doesn’t,” Kirby said.
“People are telling me to get on the TV and to defend my nephew, because they lived in that apartment. They seen my nephew on a daily basis, and they know what kind of father he was. And, on my nephew’s behalf, that’s what I’m doing. I’m pleading to everybody out there. Don’t judge him. Don’t convict him, until all the known facts are in,” she said.
“Nobody knows, at the time, but those two babies and God what happened there that night,” Kirby said.
Meantime, funeral arrangements are set for the two toddlers. Visitation is set for Friday, with burial taking place Saturday for each child.
The children had different mothers. Neither woman lived with Nicholson.
(Copyright 2010 WWJ Radio. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)