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Prosecutor: Suspended Ewing Police Officer, Wife Indicted In Beating Death Of Infant Daughter

Daniel and Catherine Bannister were indicted in the beating death of their 3-month-old daughter, Hailey, authorities said.
Daniel and Catherine Bannister were indicted in the beating death of their 3-month-old daughter, Hailey, authorities said. Photo Credit: MCPO

A suspended Ewing Township police officer and his wife charged this year with fatally beating their 3-month-old daughter have both been indicted, authorities said.

Daniel Bannister was indicted on a murder charge and Catherine Bannister on a reckless manslaughter charge, Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday.

The Ewing parents, 31 and 29, respectively, were also charged with child endangerment.

Daniel was initially charged with child endangerment but it was later upgraded.

Ewing Township EMS responded to the Bannisters' home on a 9-1-1 call for an unresponsive baby having difficulty breathing, authorities said.

Hailey was transported to Capital Health Medical Center - Hopewell, where it was determined she had suffered a fractured skull, brain bleed and had multiple fractured ribs, authorities said.

She was transferred to Robert Wood Johnson Children’s Hospital in New Brunswick and listed in critical condition, but died six days later, the prosecutor said.

"Due to the suspicious nature of Hailey’s injuries, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and Homicide Task Force were contacted and advised of Hailey’s status," the prosecutor's office said.

"An autopsy was conducted in December 2018 by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office and following additional testing, analysis of medical documentation, and forensic review, Hailey’s death was ruled a homicide."

The cause of Hailey's death was complications from blunt impact trauma on the head, including skull fractures and subdural hemorrhage, authorities said.

"The nature of Hailey’s injuries indicated an ongoing pattern of abuse," the prosecutor said.

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