By GABRIEL GOODWIN
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK — A Dearborn Heights couple awaits a preliminary examination of the evidence against them for charges stemming from the suffocation death of their infant son Jan. 15 in a hotel here.
Sahib Al-Asadi, 31, and Outhwaite Julite, 32, were arraigned Friday in 24th District Court before Judge Richard Page on involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse charges. Julite also was charged with second-degree murder.
The preliminary exam is scheduled for 9 a.m. Aug. 12 before 24th District Court Judge John Courtright. Page confirmed there was enough probable cause and sufficient evidence to proceed with all charges presented against the two.
Julite can face up to life in prison, if convicted with second-degree murder and was held on a $200,000, 10-percent surety bond. The maximum penalty for second-degree child abuse is a four-year sentence, and involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 15 years and $7,500.
The couple allegedly left the infant in the care of Julite’s children — her 12- and 9-year-old daughters — in a separate motel room in the Allen Park Motor Lodge, 14887 Southfield Road, and failed to monitor his condition in any way.
During the arraignment, police said the infant had issues breathing and used a breathing machine 24 hours a day because he was born premature and was recovering from pneumonia. The couple told police they were moving from Detroit to Dearborn Heights and rented separate rooms because they didn’t want to smoke around the infant.
The family occupied the motel for three days before the incident occurred. The six-month-old infant was discovered by his 12-year-old sister, lying on his stomach with a blanket covering his head.
Al-Asadi, allegedly left the motel and did not check on the condition of the infant. It is also alleged that the 12-year-old daughter tried to call Julite on her cell phone around 10:36 a.m., when she discovered the infant may not be breathing, and could not reach her for about 15 minutes.
Police confirmed the infant was in an unsafe sleeping condition which ultimately led to his death.
In 2006, Julite had a similar incident with another child, police said during the arraignment, where she was alleged to have been drinking and smoking marijuana and rolled over on top of the child. Julite was counseled on “safe sleeping conditions” after the incident and is alleged to violate those practices in the Jan. 15 incident.
(Gabriel Goodwin can be reached at [email protected])