Candice Renea Diaz, 25, the Sumpter Township mother who is charged with torturing and murdering her four-year-old daughter on New Year’s Day, was found competent, again, to stand trial.
Her next court appearance will be a preliminary exam at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4, before 34th District Court Chief Judge Tina Brooks Green. Judge Green set the exam at a different time than the usual felony docket on Wednesdays at the court because of the expected length of the exam.
On Aug. 1, Diaz, who is being held without bond in the Wayne County Jail, was brought before Judge Green for a review of her case. She and her boyfriend, Brad Edward Fields, 28, were apprehended Jan. 9 in Georgia as they tried to flee from the law after the medical examiner ruled her daughter’s death a homicide.
They both are charged with felony murder, second-degree murder, first-degree child abuse, and torture in the death of Gabrielle Barrett, 4, in a Sumpter Township mobile home.
According to state documents, the Washtenaw County Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy told police that Gabrielle’s death “was the worst child death case” he had seen in 27 years of practice.
Diaz had been found competent to stand trial according to an April 17 report by the Center for Forensic Science in Ypsilanti and her attorney David Cripps asked Judge Green on May 30 for a second, private evaluation.
On July 20, Cripps said, he got the second report from Dr. Firoza Van Horn that also said Diaz was competent to stand trial.
Wayne County Prosecutor Bruce Elsey stipulated to both reports, which say the defendant is capable of criminal responsibility and competent to stand trial.
Diaz has been held without bond since her arrest.
Judge Green said that the preliminary exam before Judge Brian Oakley for Diaz’s co-defendant Fields had seven witnesses and lasted six-and-a-half hours.
“I’m not going six-and-a-half hours,” said Judge Green. “This is a probable cause conference, not a trial. We’ll not go through things that should be stipulated.”
She said Diaz’s co-defendant has his trial set for Sept. 11 before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans.
Cripps asked Judge Green to order a review by pretrial services on bond, which has been denied, and Judge Green said they usually don’t do that until the defendant is bound over to circuit court.
“Nine means nine,” Judge Green stated with emphasis, noting she wants to begin the exam on time, if the defendant has been delivered from the jail.
After hearing the case on Sept. 4, Judge Green will decide whether to bind Diaz over to circuit court for trial.
Paige Denise Carter
Paige Denise Carter, 27, got a plea deal to have her three felony charges dismissed and in turn she pled guilty to a new charge of false pretenses from $200 to $1,000. She said on March 21, 2016 at 10808 Belleville Road in Van Buren Township she used a debit card without permission.
She had been charged with false pretenses, $1,000-$20,000; possession of a fraudulent financial transaction device; and forgery, alteration or counterfeiting of a financial transaction device.
She was brought to Judge Green’s courtroom from the Oakland County Jail where she is lodged on another charge.
Her court-appointed defense attorney said Carter earned her GED and has two minor children.
Judge Green said they would send a notification to the victim to see if she agrees with the plea deal. The sentence would be one year probation, payment of fines and costs, and 40 hours of community service in a non-profit organization.