Allegan man arraigned in child abuse case

By: 
Ryan Lewis, editor

(Corrected, Thursday, May 21--Ed.) Joshua Duane Martin, 29, of Allegan was charged Thursday, May 14, with two counts of second-degree child abuse.

Police said 10-month-old Rosalee Ann Blackmer in Allegan Township was the victim in the case.

Police announced May 13 that Kayden Blackmer, Rosalee’s 2-year-old brother, had been brought to Bronson Methodist Hospital May 9 with serious injuries. The child died as a result of those injuries May 11.

“Several subjects have been interviewed and are cooperating with law enforcement regarding the origin of the child’s injuries. At this time death is being considered suspicious and we are awaiting results from a post mortem examination for a cause of death,” said a statement from the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office.

Martin was arraigned Friday, appearing by video monitor from the Allegan jail. His cash surety bond was set at $40,000.

In arguing for a reduction in that amount, assistant public defender Desiree Benedict-Notter said Martin was employed full-time. While she claimed he worked at Perrigo Co. in Holland, Perrigo has since clarified it had not hired him and that Martin had been placed there by Manpower; a Perrigo spokesperson said Martin has only worked at the facility less than a day.  Benedict-Notter said the defendant had strong ties to the Allegan community and had a place to live there that was away from others involved in the case. She also said she believed his criminal record was limited to a domestic violence offense that had been expunged.

Attorney Magistrate Daniel W. Norbeck declined to reduce bond, wanting to allow the prosecutor’s office to weigh in on any reduction.

If Martin did post bond, Norbeck said he was to have no contact with the victim or any other minor and to not go to the victim’s residence.

A probable cause hearing was scheduled for May 28 before Judge Joseph S. Skocelas and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for June 2 before Judge William A. Baillargeon.

 

(Editor's note: The story above was edited to clarify the defendant's employer, after we received new information May 21.)

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