Plea entered in child abuse case

MARQUETTE – The West Branch Township man accused of torturing his 3-month-old son in June pleaded no contest this morning to one count of first-degree child abuse, citing intoxication at the time of the incident as his reason.

The charge stems from a June 25 incident in which police were dispatched to UP Health System-Marquette following reports of a severely injured infant.

Following an investigation, Nicholas Brandon Racine, 28, was arrested and charged with first-degree child abuse and first-degree torture.

The second charge was dismissed in a plea bargain deal this morning, according to Prosecuting Attorney Matt Wiese.

The Mining Journal previously reported that the child was transported to Motts Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan following the incident for treatment, and was later released into the care of family, according to troopers at the Michigan State Police post in Negaunee Township.

First-degree child abuse is a felony charge that carries a term of any amount of years or life with the possibility of parole. Wiese said the prosecution agreed to sentencing guidelines, which call for a minimum of nine to 15 years jail.

Racine was scheduled to be sentenced in the Marquette County Circuit Court at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 4, 2016.

Kelsie Thompson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.