USA Today

Parolee Who Allegedly Tried to Kill 8-Month-Old Son in DTLA Pleads Not Guilty

April 23, 2019 - 12:19 pm

A parolee who allegedly tried to kill his 8-month- old son last week in a vacant Los Angeles apartment pleaded not guilty today to attempted murder and child abuse charges.

 Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Teresa Sullivan ordered Michael Freeman, 29, of Nashville, Tennessee, to remain jailed without bail while awaiting a hearing May 3 to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial on the charges of attempted murder and child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami alleged that Freeman forcibly took his son from the baby's mother following an argument last Thursday, ran to an unoccupied room of an apartment in the 800 block of South Hill Street and punched him. The boy's injuries were also consistent with attempted strangulation and attempted drowning, according to the prosecutor, who told the judge that the baby may have permanent neurological injuries.

Police allegedly found Freeman beating the baby and reportedly had to use a Taser to subdue and arrest him.

Freeman was on parole and supervised release in Tennessee following his conviction in a federal drug case, and was allegedly involved in two incidents of domestic violence involving his baby's mother and two of her other children since his release, Hatami told the judge.

 Deputy Public Defender Mearl Lottman asked the judge to set bail for Freeman, arguing that it should be up to the federal court system to deal with the alleged probation violations.

But the judge agreed to the prosecution's request to hold Freeman without bail, saying the "overall risk to the community is great." She noted that he has no ties to the community and came to Los Angeles in violation of his supervised release, and ordered him not to have any contact with the boy or his mother.

Freeman could face a potential maximum state prison sentence of life in prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney's Office.