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Case dismissed against man charged with murder, sexual assault of 8-month-old in Inkster

James Saltmarshall previously charged with murder, child abuse, CSC

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INKSTER, Mich. – The case against a man charged with the murder and sexual assault of an 8-month-old girl in Inkster has been dismissed, officials announced.

James Lee Saltmarshall, 22, was charged with felony murder, first-degree child abuse and first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the death of his 8-month-old daughter.

"After an extensive investigation and based upon the June 16, 2017 report from the Wayne County Medical Examiner, it has been determined that the cause of death of the child was asphyxia and the manner of death was determined to be an accident," the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said. "Mr. Saltmarshall and his daughter were determined to have slept adjacent to each other on an adult sized bed and upon waking Mr. Saltmarshall found the child unresponsive. Today WCPO moved to have the case was dismissed  in the best interests of justice. The motion was granted by Judge Sabrina Johnson."

WATCHExclusive interview with father charged with murder, sexual assault of 8-month-old girl in Inkster

Prosecutors alleged Saltmarshall was alone with his infant girl on April 20 in a hotel in the 2600 block of Michigan Avenue when authorities were called because the child was unresponsive.

The child was in good health when the mother left for work in the morning. It was alleged Saltmarshall killed the child by causing trauma to her head. Police said there were other injuries observed on the child. The infant died April 23.

Saltmarshall was released from jail on April 28 on a $2 million personal bond.

When asked about his release, Saltmarshall told Local 4 that a medical examiner had told his lawyer there was no physical damage to his daughter.

“I’ve been told by my lawyer that she took my child out to the medical examiner and they basically said there was no physical damage to my child,” Saltmarshall said.

“I don’t know why people would think I would do that. I’ve been involved with CPS since my daughter was born,” he said.

“So that’s another reason why I don’t think I would do something like that to my child if I have to take my child to CPS almost every week, that really doesn’t make sense but hopefully, we can get to the bottom of it and go from there.”

When asked about the sexual-assault charge against him, he said:

“I was shocked. At the same time, I was told my daughter had passed two or three days prior. That’s why on the news you see me crying frantically and acting that way. I was told that my daughter was deceased and that I was charged with three felonies that I have never seen happen to me, seen only happen on TV, but they put me in jail since last Thursday.”

When asked about the events that took place the day his daughter died, Shaltmarshall said, “My daughter suffocated in my arms while I was sleeping and while she was sleeping. I woke up and realized that my daughter was not breathing and the first thing I did was call the police."

"As soon as the police came, they picked my daughter and put her in the truck for about 20 minutes and took her to the hospital. The cop then rushed me to the hospital.

"Once we get to the hospital, they start naming all these different types of injuries that were new to me."

Saltmarshall said he's glad he has been released.

“Finally out, get to be around family and get to actually mourn my daughter's death.”

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