MIDLAND, Mich. — A 21-year-old Michigan man, Alex Marsh, has entered a no contest plea to second-degree murder charges in connection with the death of his six-month-old daughter. Marsh will serve a minimum of 13 and a half years in prison for the crime that occurred over a year ago.
Marsh, a resident of Midland, Michigan, entered his plea last Thursday before Midland County Circuit Court Judge Michael Beale. The charges of first-degree murder and child abuse that were initially leveled against him were subsequently dismissed. Marsh’s sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on November 16.
The case, described as “extremely sad and unfortunate” by Midland County Prosecutor J. Dee Brooks, involved Marsh allegedly causing his infant daughter Scarlett’s death by asphyxiation. Marsh is said to have placed a four-pound blanket on the baby while he was engrossed in playing video games on the night of May 17, 2022, leading into the following morning. Marsh was taken into custody on May 20, 2022, following an initial investigation.
Brooks clarified that the prosecution team does not believe Marsh intentionally caused the death of his infant daughter. However, he noted that Marsh demonstrated a lack of maturity and capability to provide adequate childcare.
Marsh underwent a Cobbs hearing on August 14, 2023, at the behest of his attorney. This hearing allows the judge to review case facts from both sides and potentially inform the defendant of their likely sentence if they plead guilty to the charges. In Marsh’s case, Judge Beale determined a minimum sentence of 13 and a half years.
The plea agreement was discussed with the infant’s mother and family, who ultimately agreed to the resolution. On the night of the incident, Marsh had taken his then-wife, Isabelle, to her night shift at work. Isabelle testified that when Marsh came to pick her up the next morning, the baby was not in the car. Upon arriving home, she discovered her lifeless child in the crib.
Investigators noted several inconsistencies in Marsh’s account of the events, including claims that he had checked on the baby at a certain time, which he later admitted was untrue.