Father Arraigned in Deaths of Detroit Children

A father was arraigned on murder, assault and other charges Thursday for allegedly shooting his four children, killing three of them, and setting fire to his home to conceal the crimes.


DETROIT (AP) -- A father was arraigned on murder, assault and other charges Thursday for allegedly shooting his four children, killing three of them, and setting fire to his home to conceal the crimes.

The surviving girl reportedly told a rescuer, ``My daddy killed me.''

A judge entered an innocent plea on behalf of Anthony Lamar Bailey, who police believe shot the children with a shotgun and set the fire Tuesday night before fleeing on a bicycle. He was arrested Wednesday while walking on a freeway overpass.

Essie Bailey, his wife and the children's mother, wailed in court when Bailey's face appeared on a video monitor from a holding cell. Family members carried her from the courtroom as the charges were read.

Iesha Brassell, Essie Bailey's daughter and the children's half-sister, said after the hearing that the killings have devastated her family. Her mother and Anthony Bailey were in the process of divorcing.

``My mom, she's not holding up well. I'm being strong for her,'' Brassell said. ``I hope he gets whatever's coming to him.''

An attorney was not immediately named for Bailey. He will be held without bail at least until a preliminary hearing Sept. 3. If convicted of first-degree murder, he would be sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The surviving child, 9-year-old Antonia, was found shot in the stomach in the house's basement along with the bodies of her siblings: Sharnice, 11, Ayana, 3, and Lamar, who was 1 year old.

Antonia told a rescuer ``My daddy killed me,'' and ``My daddy killed my whole family,'' according to police.

Antonia was in critical condition Thursday afternoon at Children's Hospital of Michigan, spokeswoman Jacquie Trost said.

Court records show both of the parents were on probation after pleading guilty to domestic violence for separate attacks on one another. Essie Bailey was ordered not to have any contact with her husband.

Anthony Bailey had been struggling with personal problems for more than a year, said his stepfather, David Bradley. He said he wouldn't listen to anyone who tried to help him.

``He would just get really upset about anything that you would say to him or try to, you know, show him where he's wrong,'' Bradley said after the hearing. ``It was either his way or no way.''