Northern Michigan man charged with murder in baby’s death

Posted at 6:41 PM, Sep 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 18:41:45-04

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan man faces an open murder charge in the death of his girlfriend’s 1-month-old daughter.

Twenty-year-old Thomas Gene Weatherholt of Traverse City is being held without bond following his arraignment Tuesday.

Grand Traverse County sheriff’s detectives said in a probable-cause affidavit that Hovana Pence suffered severe head trauma including a large skull fracture as well as significant swelling and bruises to her forehead and arms. She died Sunday.

Court records show the girl’s mother put her to bed at 10 p.m. on Friday, but Weatherholt woke the child shortly afterward and took the crying infant outside. Records say Weatherholt returned holding the silent child, saying the girl “suddenly stopped crying” and fell asleep. First responders soon were summoned and took the child to a hospital.