A Detroit mom who police say killed her two of her children and stashed their bodies inside a freezer was arraigned Thursday on child abuse charges, with prosecutors saying murder charges could be forthcoming.
Mitchelle Blair, 35, is charged with four counts of first-degree child abuse, a 15-year felony; and one count of committing child abuse first-degree in the presence of another child, a felony punishable by up to life in prison, in connection with the deaths of her two children Stephen Berry and Stoni Blair.
“There remains a possibility that Ms. Blair’s charges will be increased to murder in the first degree,” said assistant prosecutor Carin Goldfarb on Thursday to Detroit News, asking for a “very high bond.”
Magistrate Renee McDuffee oversaw the video arraignment before a stone-faced Blair. As McDuffee was setting Bond, Blair stepped out of the camera vantage point, briefly interrupting proceedings.
McDuffee said Blair could not have contact with her family, including her children, and could not have contact with her neighbors either.
“The charges in this matter are so heinous that I’m setting bond at $1 million cash or surety,” McDuffee said.
Blair did not have an attorney present Thursday, and tried to interject at one point.
McDuffee advised her to “maintain your silence,” after the interjection.
A non-guilty plea was entered on Blair’s behalf.
A probable cause hearing has been scheduled for April 2 before 36th District Judge Kenneth King. A preliminary exam has been scheduled for April 9, Detroit News reported.
“The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is continuing the investigation regarding the deaths of Stoni Blair and (Stephen) Berry while waiting for the autopsy report from the Wayne County Medical Examiner,” Assistant Prosecutor Maria Miller said in a release.
Spokesman Ryan Bridges said the autopsies are tentatively scheduled for today as the bodies were still frozen.
Murder Charges May Be Forthcoming For Detroit Mom Accused Of Killing Children