Grand Lake woman uses insanity defense in death of 3-year-old |

Grand Lake woman uses insanity defense in death of 3-year-old

A plea has been entered in the case involving the death of a Grand Lake child last January.

During an arraignment in the 14th Judicial District Court at Hot Sulphur Springs on Monday, Michelle Baber entered a plea of “not guilty by reason of insanity” to the charge of “Child Abuse Causing Death,” a Class 2 felony.

Baber is accused in the death of 3-year-old Daisai Derzon, a foster child who was in her care. Derzon died as the result of head injuries last January.

Baber has been incarcerated at the Grand County Jail since her arrest a few days after the child’s death.

The “not guilty by reason of insanity” plea was entered on Baber’s behalf by Public Defender Trevor McFee. The prosecutor in the case is Chief Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham.

After entering the plea, Judge Mary Hoak ordered Baber to undergo an evaluation by the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo. She also set Nov. 21 as the next advisement in the case.

Over the spring and summer, continuances were granted by the District Court so that medical evaluations could be performed on the defendant. Baber’s case was bound over to the District Court from the Grand County Court on April 28.

Baber is accused in Derzon’s death that followed an incident Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Baber’s Grand Lake residence, which was the 3-year-old’s foster home. On that day, the child was rushed by ambulance to the Granby Medical Center for treatment and later transported to Children’s Hospital in Aurora, where she died Saturday morning, Jan. 12.

In a Jan. 15 press release announcing Derzon’s death, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office stated she had suffered “closed head injuries” at her foster home.

The Grand County Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation were involved in the investigation. An autopsy was performed, but the results have not been released.

An arrest warrant for Baber on the charge of felony child abuse was obtained by investigators from the 14th Judicial District on Saturday, Jan. 26. On Monday, Jan. 28, the arrest warrant was executed by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, which took Baber to the Grand County Jail where she has remained incarcerated since.

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