Courtroom gave custody of 16-month-old to father accused of killing him close to Montrose | Crime
MONTROSE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJRT) – The 39-year-old accused of killing his toddler son near Montrose last week had a long history of violence and authorities recommended against giving him custody of the boy.
Chaos Demilo McCarthy was the youngest of four children and lived a tumultuous life. Police say it tragically came to an end at the hands of his own father, Michael Christopher Butler of Mt. Morris Township.
McCarthy’s little body was found in the ditch along a rural stretch of North Morrish Road in Montrose Township last Thursday. Butler was arranged Tuesday on charges of felony murder, first-degree child abuse, concealing a dead body and third-offense domestic violence.
He faces up to life in prison with no chance of parole if convicted of murder.
Butler’s criminal record shows a history of abuse. He’s accused of fracturing his young son’s skull, causing the boy’s death.
“And we believe that that child died as a result of the trauma to his head,” said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
The death of young Chaos was the culmination of a 16-month life filled with abuse and uncertainty without a stable place to call home. Leyton said the family was “essentially homeless.”
“They were living in an abandoned house under very difficult circumstances and mom had issues of her own,” he said.
Eventually Chaos and his mom and siblings ended up in a homeless shelter. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services removed three of the children from their mother’s care.
Authorities from the department recommended Chaos be placed in temporary foster care, but the court awarded custody to Butler instead. Leyton said state officials did not want the child placed with the father.
“But the father did get custody of the child and of course the most tragic of all things occurred,” he said.
A memorial has popped up in the place where nearby residents found Chaos’ body last week along a field near Montrose. A lantern illuminates the items that have been placed there in his memory.
“It saddens me, it saddens me a lot the way we treat children,” said John Lund, who lives nearby and was out running errands when he stopped by the memorial to simply say a prayer.
“Just that basically that he finds peace,” said Lund.
Butler remained in the Genesee County Jail without bond after arrangement. He is scheduled to appear in Genesee County District Court again on Sept. 8.