Accused Baby Killer Due in Court This Month
A Benton County man accused of killing a baby boy last year is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 28, said Van Stone, Benton County prosecuting attorney.
Michael John Proffitt of Rogers was set to appear in Benton County Circuit Court on Oct. 2 for a hearing on a motion by his defense attorneys to suppress evidence in the case, Stone said.
However, one of Proffitt’s defense attorneys had a conflict with that date, so it was reset for Oct. 28, Stone said.
Proffitt’s attorneys announced earlier this year that they are trying to suppress statements made by the suspect to police that they said may incriminate their client.
Tim Buckley, one of Proffitt’s attorneys, said the suspect did not talk to police voluntarily and did not have the intellectual capacity to understand the situation when the suspect told police he shook the 11-month-old boy because he would not stop crying, according to a motion submitted by Buckley to the Benton County Circuit Clerk’s Office in February.
During an interview with police after the incident, Proffitt was not read his Miranda rights by detectives, the defense motion states. The next day, while talking to detectives, the suspect agreed to take a polygraph test the next week. The polygraph test was designed specifically to deceive Proffitt and make him seem guilty, the motion states.
“The situation itself was coercive,” the motion states of Proffitt’s first interview with police. “Defendant was in a small motel room with two police detectives who were aggressively seeking information about a very recent crime.”
The motion goes on to state that Proffitt was intimidated by police.
Proffitt was arrested in June 2012 on suspicion of capital murder. The baby’s mother was engaged to be married to Proffitt’s son, officials said.
Proffitt was babysitting the child at the 8th Street Motel in Rogers when the baby was injured, police said.
The baby was taken to Mercy Medical Center for treatment. While the baby was in the hospital, the police department began an investigation that included interviews with family members. The baby was later taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, where he died two days later.
Proffitt told police he became frustrated when the child would not stop crying, the affidavit states. Proffitt told officers he became frustrated with the child and shook him about once a month.