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We Don't Respect No Jury

March 11, 2015 permalink

A Michigan jury found father Joshua Quincy Burns guilty of child abuse, and he is facing jail time. The same jury found wife and mother Brenda Burns not guilty of abusing their daughter Naomi. Notwithstanding the jury, Brenda and Naomi were forced to become fugitives when CPS continued to demand supervision. The Burns family has its own website, Two articles are enclosed.



CPS: Mom hid child, refuses to cooperate

Brenda Burns and Naomi Burns
Photo: Burns family

A Livingston County mother whose husband is facing prison for abusing their daughter is accused of hiding the 1-year-old from Child Protective Services.

Juvenile Court Referee Sandra Aspinall ordered Brenda Burns or her husband, Joshua Quincy Burns, to provide the location of their 1-year-old daughter, Naomi, by 5 p.m. Friday. Whether they complied is not known. The couple did not appear at the hearing.

The action came after authorities filed a petition in court seeking to add Brenda Burns to an ongoing case against her husband, who faces an April hearing that could terminate his parental rights to the couple's daughter, because she moved Wednesday and refused to tell authorities where her child is living and refused to allow CPS to check on her daughter.

The court took jurisdiction over Naomi as it relates to her father after a jury in family court found him responsible for abusing the then-11-week-old infant. Joshua Burns also faces a March 19 sentencing hearing in Livingston County Circuit Court after a separate jury convicted him of felony child abuse. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

The state initially sought to terminate Brenda Burns' parental rights as well, but a jury found her not responsible for the alleged abuse to Naomi. As a result, custody of Naomi was returned to her mother's care although court jurisdiction remains in place against Joshua Burns.

Prosecutor William Vailliencourt said Brenda Burns has to allow CPS to visit Naomi to ensure her safety and well-being, which is critical considering Brenda Burns steadfastly supports the man convicted of abusing her daughter.

Joshua Burns maintains that he did not harm his daughter. He testified at his criminal trial that he grabbed Naomi's face to stop her fall when she slipped from his grasp after he ended a phone call from his wife in March 2014. Brenda Burns was not home at the time of the incident.

The prosecution says that following that incident, Naomi suffered seizures, hypothermia, hypotension, bradycardia, apnea and retinal hemorrhages, which led to multiple visits to the emergency room.

However, multiple doctors who testified for the defense reviewed Naomi's medical records and concluded her medical issues were the result of birth trauma and not child abuse.

Joshua Burns said in a telephone interview with the Livingston Daily that following the verdict in the criminal trial Brighton officers and CPS workers "stormed my home under the assumption I'd violated the protective order" that prohibits him from living with Naomi.

"They came in with their hands on their weapons," he said. "I never violated the no contact order."

Court documents confirm that CPS and four Brighton officers visited the Burns' Brighton home the day of the verdict and found Naomi with her paternal grandparents. Brenda Burns was spending the night with her husband elsewhere, court documents noted.

Court documents confirm the officers were on scene because they found Joshua Burns has two outstanding warrants from El Paso County, Colorado.

A clerk at El Paso County court said Friday that records show one warrant for Joshua Burns dating back to February 1998 for failure to appear on a harassment charge.

Source: Livingston Daily Press & Argus

Father convicted of child abuse shares story on web

A Brighton father facing prison for child abuse is sharing his story on the Internet in the hopes of exposing what he calls the "evil regime in Livingston County."

Supporters, who started the website — — for Joshua Quincy Burns also are seeking donations to the Josh Burns Benevolence Fund, which is administered by "two people who were not part of the Burns family" and is used to fund legal expenses.

Prosecutor William Vailliencourt's response to the website is that Burns is "entitled to say and post whatever he likes, but I think there are a lot of factual inaccuracies" on the website. He did not get specific due to the still-pending criminal case in Livingston County Circuit Court.

"I did not harm my daughter," Burns said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I love my family. …

"People have to look at the evidence and decide for themselves. There's hundreds of people who decided to; they know my character … and they know there's no way this happened," said Burns, who was convicted following a jury trial for child abuse for harming his then 11-week-old daughter.

The phone call was disconnected and Burns stated in a subsequent email: "I am not interested in doing an interview with you."

Burns acknowledged in the phone interview that the incident — he grabbed his daughter Naomi's face to stop her fall when she slipped from his grasp after he ended a phone call from his wife in March 2014 — did happen as he testified at his criminal trial in Circuit Court in Howell.

However, Burns said "it was an accident" and not child abuse as the prosecution claims. He maintains the evidence supports his stance.

"I admitted my daughter slipped off my knee," Burns said in the phone interview. "If you want to call an accident abuse in this country, then we all better watch out. I've apologized to my wife on countless occasions. ... I now stand convicted of a felony for an accident with my daughter."

The evidence as the Burns family and their supporters see it has been posted online at Burns said in email that the "website was created by a group of supporters." He was not more specific.

One supporter listed on the site, Del Belcher, a pastor spearheading the Josh Burns Legal Defense Fund, said he's known the Burns family for about six years, and he was "taken aback and shocked" when he heard about the allegations.

"Someone might argue it would be easier for us to let it go and say he's guilty and that's that," Belcher said. "Why pick the hard road? There's no merit to choose the harder road in this except my conscience and all the evidence I saw. … My opinion is the prosecution did not prove the civil (case) or guilt at the criminal trial. I have to be honest with that."

In the family court trial, a jury found that Burns' wife was not responsible for their daughter's injuries, but Burns was responsible. As a result, the prosecution is moving forward with terminating his parental rights, and he is waiting for a disposition hearing in April.

In a separate criminal trial, a 12-member jury deliberated for more than 10 hours before returning a guilty verdict against Burns for harming his daughter, Naomi, now 1. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced March 19.

Burns and his supporters blame his family's situation on the Livingston County prosecutor's office. He said authorities asked him to take a polygraph test and he readily agreed, but they never followed up with the request. He took a polygraph in his attorney's office and passed.

He claims the prosecution "used Naomi as a pawn" by offering to return the infant, who was in the custody of Child Protective Services at the time, to his wife's custody if she would divorce him. The couple did not divorce.

Vailliencourt said his office does ask the custodial parent — in this case Burns' wife — what action, if any, she will take to protect a child in an abuse case and that can include whether the custodial parent will seek a divorce. If so, the prosecution would have withdrawn a petition against the wife for neglect.

"The concern is whether the parent is taking action to protect the child," the prosecutor said. "If they are not taking action to protect the child, then we have no choice but to go forward."

Burns also blames Dr. Bethany Mohr, director of the child-protection team at the University of Michigan Medical Center's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, who testified that she believes the injuries on Naomi constituted child abuse.

Mohr testified that Burns' daughter had retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes, which she believed is an indicator of child abuse, as well as bruising.

However, multiple doctors who testified for the defense reviewed Naomi's medical records and concluded her medical issues were the result of birth trauma and not child abuse.

"We have six expert doctors saying it's not child abuse," Burns said in the Tuesday phone interview. "No one suspected child abuse until Dr. Mohr got involved in (Naomi's) life."

On the website, it is explained that Naomi was born in January 2014 "through a traumatic birth that started with four hours of pushing, followed by several failed attempts at vacuum extraction" and an emergency cesarean section. The website says that traumatic birth left her with "unforeseen health issues that would later cause serious problems."

On the website, it is alleged the prosecution's case was "based on the old 'junk science' of shaken baby syndrome, which is being disproven by current medical research."

Burns, who notes he passed a polygraph test, said "head trauma is the new buzzword for shaken baby syndrome."

Vailliencourt said the case was not "a shaken baby case."

"This was a case of physical abuse, head trauma, and the child almost died," he said. "The experts have said the true effects on the child won't be known until she's grown. It's premature to say she's healthy and won't suffer any lasting effects from abuse."

However, the website says just that: "Naomi is back, safe and sound in her mother's arms. She is happy, healthy and meeting all her developmental milestones."

Source: Livingston Daily Press & Argus