Saturday, 6 November 2010

SBS: Westman

RACINE - A man accused of reckless homicide in the death of his infant daughter 11 years ago and stalking the mother of the child is back in the Racine County Jail just months after he posted a substantial cash bond, for allegedly violating the conditions of his bond.
Michael E. Westman Jr., 36, of 2607 Charles St. was charged Wednesday with four counts of felony bail jumping and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is accused of failing to notify the court when he moved from his previous residence.
According to the criminal complaint, a police investigator was notified last month that Westman no longer lived at the address he had given when released from jail on bond. Police found someone else living at his reported address and issued a warrant for Westman's arrest.
On Tuesday, police found Westman at 2607 Charles St. and arrested him on the warrant. While he was being taken into custody, officers reportedly found a marijuana pipe on him. His arrest on the misdemeanor possession charge was also a violation of both felony bonds.
During his initial appearance Wednesday, Westman was given a $7,500 cash bond on the new charges. He is facing an additional 24 years imprisonment, on top of the 57 years he faces if convicted of all charges in the homicide and stalking cases.
At the time of his arrest, Westman was out of jail on a $30,000 cash bond. According to online court records, he was released from jail in June, after several requests by his defense attorney to have his bond modified were denied.
Records show his bond was set at $25,000 in the reckless homicide case and $5,000 in the stalking case.
Westman is accused of shaking his 4-month-old daughter, Morgan Westman, while he was caring for her March 22, 1999. Police reports said she stopped breathing and was brought by both her parents to the hospital.
Examinations over the next several days uncovered subdural hematomas, rib fractures and hemorrhages in both eyes. The injuries were reportedly consistent with shaken baby syndrome and irreparable.
Morgan died nine days after she was brought to the hospital.
Police did investigate her death, but it was never ruled a homicide. Reports said Morgan was born several weeks early and had health problems, including difficulty breathing.
In early 2009, Westman was identified as a possible suspect in an unrelated investigation. Morgan's death came up and was re-examined, resulting in the charges against him in the homicide.
Westman was charged in February 2009 with reckless homicide and physical abuse of a child in the death of his daughter. The following month, he was charged with stalking and two counts of knowingly violating a domestic abuse injunction.
Police said Westman stalked his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his deceased daughter, for several months. After she had been granted a restraining order against him, Westman reportedly drove by her house daily, repeatedly called and sent her text messages. Reports said he also tried to attack her boyfriend and broke her cell phone when she tried to call police.

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