Vigil this Thursday for 8-month-old Berrien County murder victim

Published: Feb. 22, 2016 at 6:31 PM EST
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There is now a face and a name behind a Berrien County murder victim who was just eight months old.

Carter Donovan suffered what Berrien District Court Judge Dennis Wiley called “horrible injuries.”

Thirty-year-old Brandon Beshires made his first court appearance via closed circuit TV. Beshires could spend life in prison for the hour and a half he spent babysitting Carter Donovan last Friday morning.

“They are pretty horrific,” Chief Jason Roe of the Coloma Township P.D. said of the boy’s fatal wounds. “It’s one of the toughest cases I’ve seen in my 15 years.”

Police say Beshires babysat for Carter because the boy’s mother had a doctor’s appointment in Coloma.

Police say Beshires did not call police or take the initiative to bring the boy to the hospital, although Beshires willingly went there when the boy’s mother returned.

“The mom returned from her, sometime after she returned from her doctor’s appointment and to her own vehicle, Mr. Beshires was seated there with the child and she discovered there was an issue with the child and she went immediately to St. Joe,” said Chief Roe. “The hospital attempted to resuscitate the child for a half hour and they were unsuccessful.”

The medical examiner ruled the cause of death traumatic head injury.

"We believe that Mr. Beshires caused a traumatic injury to the child’s head resulting in its death,” said Chief Roe.

Beshires bond was set at $1 million after it was pointed out that he had five prior felonies and nine past misdemeanors. In fact, it was said that in a prior child abuse case out of Cass County, Beshores lost parental rights to two of his own children.

Beshires was not the father of Carter Donovan, but he claimed that the boy’s mother was his fiance.

Beshires also told the judge that he was not guilty of the murder and child abuse charges filed against him.

The family will hold a candlelight vigil Thursday, February 25th at Ely Park in Hartford, Michigan at 5:30 PM.

The family asked if you'd like to joining, that you bring your own candles.