ST. JOSEPH — A Coloma man has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of his 2-month-old daughter last October.

Scott Nathaniel Skinner, 31, is charged with first-degree felony murder in the death of Jordynn Skinner, who died Oct. 2, 2018. Further, he is charged with open murder, which means a judge or jury could consider first-degree or second-degree murder; and first-degree child abuse, Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic said. Skinner faces life in prison without parole if convicted of first-degree murder.

At a recent parental rights hearing involving another child, 2-year-old Scott Skinner Jr., a pathologist testified that the cause of Jordynn’s death has been determined to be abusive head trauma and manner of death was homicide. Dr. Elizabeth Douglas told Berrien County Trial Court Judge Jennifer Smith that the injuries to the baby were like those that would be seen in a motor vehicle crash or from shaking a baby.

A preliminary exam hearing has been set for July 11 at 8:30 a.m. Bond for Skinner was set at $200,000 cash or surety, and he must remain on GPS tether. 

Scott Skinner Jr. lives with his mother, Kori Bryant, who was also Jordynn’s mother. The father no longer lives with them but had visitations with Scott Skinner Jr., which Smith suspended at the conclusion of the June 24 parental rights hearing.

Police were dispatched to a medical call at 9:51 a.m. Oct. 1, 2018, to a house in Ravine View Estates on Little Paw Paw Lake Road in Coloma Township. Skinner was alone with the baby when, he told police, she had vomited, convulsed and stopped breathing. According to Berrien County Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Gregory Sanders, Skinner told police he might have held and squeezed the baby too tightly.

Jordynn was taken by Pride Care Ambulance to Lakeland Hospital Watervliet, and was later transfered to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, where she died the next day.

Skinner was originally arrested last Oct. 1, 2018, on a charge of child abuse and neglect based on initial reports from a doctor treating the child at the hospital. The next day, the baby died and subsequent autopsy results were inconclusive. The initial charge against Skinner was dropped pending further medical testing.

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