ROMULUS, MICH. - The Sumpter Township couple charged in the death of 4-year-old Gabrielle Barrett will remain behind bars without bond pending trial, a magistrate ruled during their arraignment Saturday.
Candice Diaz, the girl's mother, and Brad Fields, the mother's boyfriend, were arrested in Georgia Jan. 9, transported back to Michigan and arraigned in 34th District Court on charges of felony murder, second-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and torture.
Gabrielle, who was severely burned and bruised, died on Jan. 1. Her death has been ruled a homicide, authorities said.
Magistrate Elizabeth DiSanto presided over the hearing in Romulus Saturday. She noted the nature of the charges, the potential sentence if convicted and that Diaz and Fields fled the area, when denying bonds to the defendants.
DiSanto entered not guilty pleas for them and marked their files as mental health so they can receive mental health services in custody.
According to a court document obtained by the Free Press earlier this month, Diaz, 24, said she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. Fields, 28, said he has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia, which is a type of anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Diaz told DiSanto she last met with her psychiatrist last month. Fields said he wasn’t sure when he was last treated by a psychiatrist.
Both defendants appeared in court via a video connection.
"We are requesting a monetary bond in this case," Fields' attorney, Timothy Wrather, said during the hearing. "Understanding and being sensitive to the gravity of these charges and allegations, they are at this point merely allegations, and he is presumed innocent."
Fields had family members in court, but they declined comment leaving the courtroom as did his attorney.
Diaz did not have a lawyer and an order was signed to get her a court-appointed attorney.
Gabrielle lived with Diaz and Fields at a mobile home in Sumpter Township prior to her death.
Her burns were so severe that her big toe fell off and police found melted skin in the bathtub drain, a court document revealed.
Diaz told authorities Gabrielle ran her own bathwater on Dec. 31, causing burns to her skin but admitted she did not seek medical care for her daughter, the document said.
“Gabrielle had burns all over her body and bruising to her entire body,” the document filed in the Lincoln Hall of Justice in Detroit said.
Fields is not Gabrielle's father, but he and Diaz have a one-year-old child that also lived in the home.
Both Fields and Diaz have a probable cause conference scheduled on Jan. 31.
Free Press staff photographer Junfu Han contributed to this report Contact Elisha Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org or 313-222-5144. Follow on Twitter: @elishaanderson
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