Norwich man charged in child's death appears in courtPosted: Updated:
A Norwich man charged in connection with a 13-month-old child's death earlier this month appeared in court and the victim's family shouted "we want the truth" during the arraignment.
Police said Michael Rios, 22, was arrested May 6 and was charged with manslaughter and risk of injury to a minor.
The victim's family said Madison Reid was left in Rios' care after his girlfriend, Elizabeth Reid, went to work.
According to police, Madison, which is not Rios' child, sustained injuries while in the care of Rios and was taken from Backus Hospital via LIFE STAR medical helicopter to Connecticut Children's Medical Center, where Madison died.
Rios was released after posting a $100,000 bond and was arraigned in Norwich Superior Court Thursday.
During his court appearance, Rios didn't say a word, but the judge let the baby's grandfather talk.
"Our families beg for the truth. Michael Rios' reckless and criminal actions have caused incalculable harm to so many people," said Dr. Lawrence Berkman.
Investigators claim the story that Rios gave them as to how Madison lost consciousness and later died didn't match what he told the doctors.
According to the arrest warrant, Rios claims the baby fell off the bed and stopped breathing. He rushed her to Backus Hospital.
"After the victim fell from the bed, he picked her up and 'shook her very hard' to get her to respond," Rios stated to Dr. Nina Livingston at Connecticut Children's Medical Center, according to court documents.
The defense claims the police department rushed their investigation.
"There's a presumption of innocence, this case was investigated within 48 hours," said Chris Morano, who is the attorney for Rios.
The warrant stated Rios claimed to have shaken Madison for as long as two minutes in a desperate attempt to wake her.
Meanwhile the state medical examiner said Madison's injuries are inconsistent with a fall from the bed.
"I want justice for my granddaughter and daughter," said Kate Berkman. "I also want the truth."
Morano told Eyewitness News he has asked for all the evidence to be preserved. He said he plans on doing a long investigation before this case goes to trial.
"It's hard to forgive him right now," Lawrence Berkman. "Maybe someday but probably not."
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