UPDATE: Berrien Co. man shook 2-year-old stepdaughter and broke her back, killing her

Published: Jan. 4, 2019 at 5:11 PM EST
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A Berrien County man has been charged with multiple felonies for allegedly abusing his 2-year-old stepdaughter and, ultimately, killing her.

Lance Reeves, 46, of St. Joseph, Michigan, has been charged with four felonies, according to a release issued Friday by the Cass County Prosecutor's Office. He faces charges of open murder, two counts of second-degree child abuse and one count of third-degree child abuse.

Reeves allegedly repeatedly and violently shook 2-year-old Savannah Garder and broke her back, killing her, according to court documents. The crime reportedly happened in Silver Creek Township in Cass County.

Court documents say the incident happened on or around Oct. 19, 2016, but charges were filed on Dec. 21. Reeves was arrested Thursday afternoon near Hartford, Michigan.

Reeves was arraigned Friday in Cass County, and a preliminary not guilty plea was entered on his behalf. Bond was denied.

He is due in court on Jan. 17 for a probable cause conference, and a probable cause hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 23.

The case was investigated by the Michigan State Police Niles Post.