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February 28, 2013

Traverse City child abuse case headed to Circuit Court

TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City man accused of scalding an infant’s face with water now faces trial on charges that could land him in prison for life.

A district court judge on Wednesday ruled that Robert Allen Floyd, 24, should stand trial in 13th Circuit Court on charges of first-degree child abuse, third-degree child abuse and lying to a police officer.

Floyd initially was charged with second-degree child abuse after police went to Munson Medical Center on Dec. 22 on report of an infant with second-degree burns to his face. The child suffered burns to 8 percent of his body and was transferred to University of Michigan for treatment.

The injuries occurred while the 4-month-old was in Floyd’s care and the child’s mother, Floyd’s fiancée, was at work.

Floyd told officers the child spit up baby formula and he took him to the kitchen sink and rinsed his face with a faucet sprayer. An evidence technician determined the spout water temperature was 131-133 degrees.

A detective testified during a preliminary examination before 86th District Court Judge Michael Haley that Floyd told three different accounts of what happened at the kitchen sink.

The child’s mother, Mariah Lavanway, said Floyd called her at work and she went home to find him “crying hysterically” in the kitchen and the baby in the bedroom. The couple went to Munson, where she said she learned for the first time how Floyd had sprayed the baby in the face.

“I didn’t understand it until I actually got to the hospital and he was telling the nurses what happened ... all I knew is it was a burn to the face,” she said in court. “That night is so foggy and I was so upset.”

Haley said it appeared Lavanway “doesn’t want to remember the whole story.”

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