New details have been released on what police describe as an elaborate four-person plot to capture, sexually assault, and then murder a child from a county fair in Michigan.
Police were able to unravel the alleged plan through a series of interviews with witnesses and by examining text messages exchanged between the group in 2018. All four people allegedly involved in planning the brutal killing have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit criminal sexual conduct
The Michigan Attorney General’s office announced the charges against David Bailey, 37, of Coldwater and formerly of Kalamazoo; Matthew Toole, 32, of Battle Creek; Talia Furman, 32, of Springfield; and Jayme LaPoint, 19, of Athens on September 18 of 2018. M Live recently obtained the police report through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Toole and Furman had been interviewed by police in May of 2018 after allegations about their sexual behavior had come to light in an earlier conversation with an unnamed inmate who said that Toole claimed he planned to have sex with a 9-year-old girl. Police seized several of Toole and Furman's electronic devices, which contained evidence of sexual crimes against at least two children, and what was suspected to be methamphetamine.
On those devices, text messages indicated a plan to kidnap a child at gunpoint if necessary.
“I wanna hurt something. Have the plan for after it’s broken. Can make it gone without worry of discovery. You have a place for the play time ... we just need the toy," read one text.
The individuals in the text message conversations considered taking a child from a county fair in either Eaton, Jackson, Branch or Hillsdale counties, or from a parade.
Police then interviewed Jayme LaPoint, who was mentioned in several of the messages. LaPoint admitted to sending sexually abusive material to her husband, David Bailey. From there, police were able to track down an unnamed witness who said that she heard the four discussing the kidnapping plan together.
“Because Jayme LaPoint could pass for a teenager (she was 18 at the time) she would be the decoy,” the police report states. “Jayme would ask a child to use their phone and when they gave it to her she would run away with it.”
The group had said the idea was to take the abducted child to a rented cabin, where they would torture him or her.
“After the torture their hope is she would still be alive,” the police report states. “They would then start a fire and put the child in a burning barrel and put the child in it alive to be burned.”
Following the incineration, they'd light the cabin on fire to dispose of any evidence.
LaPoint also admitted to viewing child pornography with Bailey and to touching a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old the pair babysat, according to the documents. Police located photographic and video evidence of the crime.
The four are scheduled to be tried from March 19 to March 21. Toole and Furman face additional charges of child abuse. Toole pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct on Jan. 28, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer. In exchange for the plea, several other charges, including child abuse and making and possessing child pornography, will be dismissed.
All four potentially face life in prison if convicted of the crimes.
[Photos: Michigan State Police]
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