Michigan parents accused of starving 2-year-old son to death
MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (TCD) — A 27-year-old mother and a 25-year-old father stand accused of starving their 2-year-old son to death.
On March 16, Jonathon Cheek and Sierra Zaitona allegedly discovered their son deceased in his crib, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office said. The coroner later determined the child died of starvation.
Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor Molly Zappitell told Macomb Daily, “For the record, the child was healthy in foster care, and once it got into the care of these two individuals, it met its demise.”
The victim was Cheek and Zaitona’s biological son.
On March 20, the Prosecutor’s Office announced that Cheek and Zaitona were each charged with second-degree murder and second-degree child abuse. They were arraigned by Magistrate Ryan Zemke, who set their bond at $1 million.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the second-degree murder charge is a life felony, while the second-degree child abuse is considered a 10-year felony.
Cheek and Zaitona remain held in the Macomb County Jail and are scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause hearing on April 3.
In addition to the murder and child abuse charges, records show Zaitona faces charges of disorderly conduct and assault and battery. Cheek reportedly faces charges of domestic violence and noise ordinance violations, as well as assault and traffic holds.