In a unanimous decision, the court says Leo Ackley was poorly served by a trial lawyer who failed to call any expert witnesses.
Mackenzie had pneumonia and an infection, and her 3-year-old sister also was found malnourished, dehydrated and abused and weighed 17 pounds, authorities say.
Both children were lethargic, vomiting and experiencing hallucinations, police said.
The father and stepmother accused of murder, torture and abuse after two young girls were found malnourished and dehydrated are scheduled to return to court.
Prosecutors on Friday accused a father and stepmother of intentional, persistent abuse and neglect of two young girls, one dead and the other fighting for her life in a Detroit hospital.
The girl’s father and stepmother were arrested after police found her unresponsive in Port Huron Tuesday night.
“There is evidence of foul play present at the scene. We are treating this as a homicide investigation.”
The toddler was rushed to the hospital with a severe brain injury and multiple broken bones.
A Michigan man is facing child abuse charges after authorities say he restrained his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son with belts, leaned him back over a footstool and poured water down his underwear-covered face.
Brian Roberts of Kalamazoo was convicted earlier this month of first-degree murder and child abuse in the death of Nehemiah Dodd.