Trial underway for father accused in dehydration death of infant

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The first day of testimony in the trial of a father accused of murder and child abuse in the malnutrition death of his 10-month-old child ended moments ago.

Wednesday, the jury saw some of the heartbreaking testimony that will come over the next week.

Seth Welch and his wife, Tatiana Fusari, will be tried separately for the death of baby Mary Anne who died Aug. 2, 2018, lying on a filth-infused crib at a home in northern Kent County.

The parents are described as religious extremists who rejected medical care and allowed their child to become so malnourished that paramedics on scene were unsure if they were dealing with a 10-month-old or 10-day-old infant.

In a video posted online, Welch calls doctors “priesthoods of the medical cult” and brags about not getting his children vaccinated. 

The prosecution spent the day introducing the jury of eight women and six men to what the home where Mary Anne lived looked like, showing there was plenty of food in a home where the baby died of malnutrition.

The jury also saw photos of the room where the baby was found dead at around 10 a.m. after being put to bed around 3 p.m. the day before.

The photos show the vile condition of the baby’s room including a crib mattress crusted with filth and mold.

Jurors also heard the 911 call from Seth Welch, that came 90 minutes after discovering the dead child, designed to show his lack of emotion.

The mother is expected to go to trial Feb. 24.  

On News 8 at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., Barton Deiters will give full details of Wednesday’s court action.