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Raleigh convicted of murder in Brandon baby's death

May 01, 2013 - An Oakland County jury deliberated less than one hour before finding Donald Kyle Raleigh guilty of murdering a 4-month-old boy in Brandon Township last fall. The Citizen has withheld the name of the victim in order to protect the family's privacy.

Besides one count of felony murder, the jury also found Raleigh guilty of first degree child abuse on May 3 in Sixth Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren's courtroom. A felony murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no parole. First degree child abuse is also punishable by life in prison.

"This was an extremely difficult case for everyone involved, especially the family of the victim, and as much as this is a just verdict, it does not lessen the tragedy the family suffered," said Oakland County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Dale Brown, who investigated the case. "The injuries suffered by this child were beyond comprehension. It's a tragedy that he was unable to reach out for assistance rather than committing the atrocity that he did."

According to police reports, at about 2:30 p.m., Oct. 25, Brandon deputies and Brandon Fire Department personnel responded to the 300 block of Hidden Hills Lane for a 4-month-old male infant not breathing. Upon arrival, the child was lying on the living room floor, unresponsive.

Raleigh, 27, was the only adult in the home, left to care for his girlfriend's son while she was at work. The suspect's 4-year-old daughter was also in the home and asleep at the time of the incident. Deputies observed head trauma to the 4-month-old boy as medics performed CPR on him.

The baby was pronounced deceased at Genesys Regional Medical Center.

The Oakland County Medical Examiner's autopsy report concluded the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. The death was ruled a homicide.

Oakland County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Dale Brown, who was working the case as a detective, said in extensive interviews at the Brandon substation the day of the murder, Raleigh made statements to police that the child was crying and he lost his patience, threw the baby on the floor, "and after he threw the child down, knew he screwed up and dropped the child a second time, on a concrete floor."

The confession was ruled to be admissible at the trial, which began April 29 and concluded Friday.

Sentencing is scheduled for 1 p.m., June 5, before Judge Warren.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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