Second Murder Trial Set to Start for Tortured Toddler - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Second Murder Trial Set to Start for Tortured Toddler

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - The murder trial for a Lansing man accused of torturing and killing a 2-year-old boy started Tuesday morning.

Police say Marcus Hill and ex-girlfriend Mercedes Kemp beat her son Brandon to death in April of 2012. Kemp brought the boy to the hospital when he was having trouble breathing and police say he died a short time later.

 

Hill is charged with first degree child abuse, torture and murder and if convicted, could face life in prison.

A jury convicted Kemp last month; she's currently serving 25 to 50 years in prison.

Kemp's family maintains her innocence and plans to appeal, saying Hill is responsible for the child's death.

So far, the prosecution and defense gave their very different opening statements. The prosecution says Kemp was a good mother until she got into a relationship with Hill. The prosecution says Hill forced Kemp to withdraw from friends and family, was emotionally and physically abusive towards her and both beat and whipped little Brandon until he died.

The defense counters that all the evidence in this case is "speculation, suspicion and assumption." Hill's lawyer says he didn't permanently live at the home and wasn't invested in the relationship. They say Kemp was the abuser. The defense argues Hill wasn't at home during the time police say the boy was beaten and the crime covered up.

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