Man found guilty in 'worst child death case' of Sumpter Twp 4-year-old

- A Michigan man has been found guilty in the murder of his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter from Sumpter Township. 

A jury found Brad Fields, 28, guilty in the death of little Gabrielle Renea Barrett who died from burns on her body while signs of physical abuse were also discovered by investigators.  A Washtenaw County Medical Examiner told police that it was the "worst child death case" seen in 27 years.

Fields was guilty of felony murder, second-degree murder, first-degree child abuse, torture, conspiracy to commit first-degree child abuse, and conspiracy to commit second-degree child abuse. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 9, according to police.

His girlfriend Candice Diaz was also charged in the death of Gabby, who is her daughter. She is scheduled to be in court for a jury trial in March. Her preliminary hearing was held Sept. 4. 

According to documents, Gabrielle was found with burns on body including her legs from the knee down, her buttocks, posterior to both elbows and bruising all over. A medical examination found that she had been physically abused prior to her death. 

Diaz and Fields had been on the run and were tracked down and arrested by U.S. Marshals and Lowndes County Sheriff Deputies in Georgia near the Florida state line on Jan. 9 on I-75. 

Authorities pinged their cell phones to track their location before pulling them over and arrested them without incident.

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Both Fields and Diaz have criminal histories, and according to documents, both told investigators they suffer from multiple mental illness conditions.

Diaz said she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Fields said he had been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, social anxiety, agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Fields is listed as being non-compliant with his medication and not in counseling for his condition.

The Child Protective Services documents detailed the crime scene where the girl was found. The petition was to take parental custody away for Gabby's 1-year-old half-sister. 

Diaz told police that Gabrielle ran her own bath water on Dec. 31, 2017 causing to burn her skin. The mother said she did not seek medical attention and claimed the girl wanted to take another bath the next day.

Police say Diaz claimed she left Gabrielle alone in the tub and went to make pancakes in the kitchen. She said she returned to find Gabrielle submerged up to her nose in the water. She said she pulled Gabrielle out of the tub who then vomited and called Brad Fields to the bathroom for help.

Diaz said Gabrielle continued to vomit and Fields attempted to provide CPR. 

The report says that "notably, Fields has refused to provide CPS with an explanation of how Gabrielle suffered such extensive injuries."





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