MACOMB COUNTY (WWJ) – A Macomb County jury returned Tuesday with a verdict of guilty on charges related to the death of a two-year-old boy.
Ronald Dimambro faced both murder and child abuse charges in the death of toddler Damian Sutton and was found guilty of first degree felony murder and first degree child abuse.
The incident took place while Dimambro was watching Damian, his girlfriend’s son, in their Washington Township home.
Prosecutor Eric Smith told jurors it was Dimambro who killed Sutton last August and the boy’s earlier falls had nothing to do with his death.
“The evidence in this case was pretty clear and .. we presented it in a way that made it I think it made it easy for the jury to see that the defendant committed these crimes. You know we are talking about the death of a two-year-old boy and to come up with the lies and the stories that the defendant came up with to try and cover it is a little offensive,” said Smith.
Dimambro had confessed to shaking 2-year-old – who died six days later. The defense called witnesses who said the earlier falls could have contributed to the boy’s death.
Jurors began deliberations Tuesday afternoon and returned with a verdict within an hour.
“The jury got the case about four o’clock – at about 4:45 p.m. we got a message that they had a verdict,” said Smith. “So they came back with a verdict that we were hoping for – that we had been pushing for, and we asked them to come back with guilty of first degree felony murder and guilty of first degree child abuse.”
Damian’s grandfather, Steven Higdon, told WWJ on Monday that he just wanted to see justice in the case.
“Even if he, you know, gets life in prison and no form of parole, I’ll be real happy about it,” said Higdon. “My closure is; I’d like to see him come on the stand and at least apologise and show some kind of emotion. That he is sorry, because so far he has not apologized or nothing.”
“No child needs this, no child deserves to be abused or hit or even shook, my main question is, why would he do it?”
“When a child dies, everyone is on top of their game,” added Smith, “from the sheriff’s department initial interviews right through to today with the jury’s verdict. If it helps the family we are happy they are able to move on a little from this and we hope the verdict can help them – I hate to say bring closure – but it certainly has put a smile on everybody’s face.”
Dimambro’s sentencing will take place on July 17. He could face life in prison.