Infant Died from Severe Beating; Michigan Mother Pleaded Guilty for Child Abuse

A Kalamazoo mother, Norene Burkhead, has pleaded guilty to 4th Degree Child Abuse. As part of the plea deal, the charge of 2nd Degree Child Abuse has been dismissed. The case is related to the abuse of her son Liam, who was only two months old when the abuse came to light in 2023.

Burkhead faced charges for failing to report the abuse inflicted on Liam by his father.

In early June, Paul Preston, the boy’s father, admitted to two charges of first-degree child abuse. Initially, he faced charges of five counts of first-degree child abuse. Preston’s sentencing date has been set for July 1.

An investigation was initiated on May 23, 2023, when Burkhead brought the child to Bronson Hospital.

A doctor suggested that Preston appeared to offer explanations for each injury being accidental. Preston recounted a situation where Liam accidentally collided with him, resulting in a nosebleed that required Preston’s attention.

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The doctor observed that the injuries were at various stages of healing, suggesting that they were sustained at different times.

Based on court documents obtained by WZZAM13, Preston eventually confessed to investigators that he had struck his child in the head on four different occasions.

Court documents detailed instances where he would occasionally grip his baby’s head with both hands and apply pressure, hold his sides tightly, throw him onto a bed, and toss him into the air before catching him.

According to the police, Preston confessed to engaging in violent acts when Liam was only three weeks old.

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