ROMEO (WWJ/AP) – A man accused of killing a 2-year-old Macomb County boy has been ordered to undergo a competency examination.
Ronald Dimambro was arraigned Tuesday in Romeo District Court and continues to be held without bond on felony murder and first-degree child abuse in the Aug. 27 death of Damian Sutton.
The child died at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, less than a week after authorities say Dimambro shook and beat him.
Dimambro, who was dating Damian’s mother, was babysitting at the time.
Defense lawyer Randy Rodnick entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Dimambro. Rodnick says he’s interested in “any mental health issues that might affect the case.”
If convicted of the murder charge, the 26-year-old Dimambro faces life in prison.
Family members said at first, they thought the toddler had fallen out of a playpen at his Washington Township home — but they quickly became suspicious. Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said Dimambro, who eventually turned himself in, admitted that he shook the boy roughly and then threw him.
While Damien was still on life support, his mother, Nicki Sutton, said she believed Dimambro deliberately injured the boy over jealously.
Prosecutor Eric Smith says he’s since spoken with Sutton who is devastated by the loss.
“You know, from the last time I spoke to the mom until now, (she’s) still extremely grief-stricken,” Smith said. “Today I think we were able to, you know, get a process down as to what’s going to happen in the case. Last time we spoke it was really the most difficult conversation that maybe I ever had.”
He added, “We’re going to do everything we can to make sure Damien gets justice in this case.”
A pre-exam conference is set for Sept. 26.
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