DETROIT -- A Detroit man was so obsessed over toilet training that he fatally beat his 2-year-old daughter for having an accident, a prosecutor said Wednesday in an opening statement to jurors at the man's first-degree murder trial.
D'Andre Lane also is charged with child abuse in the Dec. 2 disappearance of Bianca Jones, whose body has never been found. Lane told police the toddler was abducted during a carjacking. The car was found less than an hour later, but the girl wasn't in it.
Lane, who has fathered seven children with seven women, is accused of beating Bianca to death with a stick with a towel wrapped in duct tape, and disposing of her body. Lane told officers during questioning that he had spanked the child for wetting herself.
"He believed that if 2-year-olds had accidents they should be physically punished," Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Carin Goldfarb told jurors. "The defendant staged a carjacking to cover up the death of his baby."
Lane put the child's body in the car the next day as he was going to take an older daughter and a nephew to school, Goldfarb said.
"The defendant staged a carjacking to cover up the death of his baby," the prosecutor said.
Defense attorney Terry Johnson has said prosecutors have no evidence against Lane and their "case is based on the argument that he spanked her."
Johnson told the jury there was no evidence of physical harm and that while Lane may have hit the girl with a stick, it had a protective cover to prevent harm. Johnson also said Lane was distraught at the disappearance of his daughter and cooperated with police.
"They want to paint him as the embodiment of evil," said Johnson.
The defense lawyer told jurors that prosecutors are asking them to take a "leap of faith" and convict Lane.
"I don't want you to take a leap of faith; I want you to walk through the evidence step by step," Johnson said.Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Zyia Turner, 17 Months
Zyia Turner, age 17 months, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02/detroit-baby-dies_n_1643170.html" target="_hplink">was found dead</a> underneath a pile of clothes in the closet of her grandmother's home in Detroit on June 30. According to news reports, it took hours for the Detroit Police Department to locate a cadaver dog to assist in the nine-hour search. An autopsy is pending.
Detroit Boy, Age 7
A seven-year-old boy in Detroit was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/24/7-year-old-detroit-boy-fo_n_1541969.html" target="_hplink">pronounced dead</a> after hanging himself from his bunk bed on May 23. Described by a neighbor as a "cheerful young man," the boy's mother said he had been depressed after constant bullying and teasing at home and at school.
Kade'jah Davis, Age 12
Kade'jah Davis, age 12, was murdered on Jan. 31 in her family's house on Ferguson Street, after an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/12-year-old-detroit-girl-shot-killed_n_1246823.html" target="_hplink">argument erupted </a>over a cell phone between her mother and a young man, 19-year-old Joshua M. Brown. The young man fired five shots into the house, killing Kade'jah, who was finishing her homework for school the next day. Police arrested Brown and his mother, Heather Brown, who allegedly drove her son back to the home to do the deed. Brown had been issued an <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2012/02/suspect_accused_of_killing_chi.html" target="_hplink">electronic tether</a> for prior felonies that was never activated, according to records obtained by the <em>Detroit Free Press</em>.
Detroit Boy, Age 6
A six-year-old boy was critically injured when a pair of 15-year-old carjackers fired shot into a car they were attempting to steal on Feb. 26. <a href=" http://www.freep.com/article/20120303/NEWS01/120303018/Detroit-teens-carjackings" target="_hplink">Devin Campbell and Leontay Welch</a> were armed with an AK-47 when they began shooting at the automobile driven by the boy's mother and male friend along Balfour Street. It was Campbell and Welch's fourth carjacking of a day-long crime spree. The boy was shot several times in the lower back and legs.
Detroit Boy, Age 12
When two cars crashed into a tree on Montgomery Street, on Detroit's West Side, the passengers began exchanging gunfire. <a href=" http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/03/13/12-year-old-bystander-shot-during-altercation-following-car-accident/" target="_hplink">Caught in the crossfire </a>on March 12 was an unaware 12-year-old boy playing basketball. He was listed in serious condition after a stray bullet struck him in an artery.
Delric Miller IV, Age Nine Months
A baby boy was killed when shooters <a href=" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/20/detroit-infant-baby-killed-shots-fired_n_1288620.html" target="_hplink">peppered a house </a>on Detroit's West Side with rounds from an AK-47 at 4:30 a.m. "It's actually amazing - an act of God - that more people in that house were not killed," said Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee. The motive? An argument over seating arrangements at Miller's upcoming baby shower. No arrests have been made.
Detroit Boy, Age 2
<a href=" http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2012/03/11/2-year-old-boy-shot-in-detroit/" target="_hplink">Detroit police arrested</a> a 35-year-old man an hour after he took off from Gilchrist Street near the Southfield Freeway, where he had accidentally shot a two-year-old boy in the hip. The man had fired shots during an argument with an 18-year-old.