Girl who died in Redford motel, brother 'suffered severe abuse,' state says
Detroit — The 5-year-old girl who was found dead last month at a Redford Township motel was allegedly beaten for drinking out of a toilet, according to a court order.
Lyric Jones, 5, and her 3-year-old half-brother "suffered severe physical abuse and torture," according to a Wayne County Circuit Court order issued last week to sever the parental rights of the boy's mother and father.
State officials petitioned the court to sever the rights of the children's mother, Steffani Jones, and the boy's father, Willie William Conneilies, both 26. The child is to be placed with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The order, which was issued after a preliminary hearing, said the boy was living with his mother, and her boyfriend, Michael Deshawn Lewis, 30, when Lyric died in their care.
It also said the boy "suffered from scars, bruising, burns, liver lacerations and had injuries everywhere on his body except the bottom of his feet."
The order, signed by a referee in the court's Family Division, concluded: "The severity of the abuse places the child at imminent risk of harm."
In addition, it calls for the boy to undergo a psychological evaluation and trauma counseling immediately.
Lewis and Jones were arraigned last month in 17th District Court in Redford Township on charges of felony murder, second-degree murder and child abuse in connection with Lyric's death and the boy's injuries.
Judge Karen Khalil denied bond for both, citing safety concerns and a possible risk of flight since they lived in a motel.
The pair are scheduled for a preliminary examination on July 30, according to court records.
Police said they were called about 9:30 a.m. June 25 to the Inn America motel on Telegraph for a report that a 5-year-old girl was not breathing.
The 3-year-old was found in the motel room.
Township fire crews performed CPR and transported the girl to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Police took a man and woman, later identified as Lewis and Jones, into custody.
An investigator with the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office said the manner of death was ruled to be homicide by multiple instances of blunt force trauma. Although Redford is in Wayne County, the girl was taken to an Oakland County hospital.
According to the Wayne County Circuit Court's order severing Willie Conneilies' parental rights to the 3-year-old boy, he "neither visits nor supports the child." He is also a fugitive from justice and wanted on a warrant for probation violation, it said.
Conneilies is on probation for resisting arrest and receiving and concealing a stolen vehicle, according to the Michigan Department of Corrections.