Ewing police officer accused of killing daughter to remain in jail

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

A Ewing police officer accused of killing his baby daughter will remain in jail until his trial.

A Mercer County judge made the ruling on Daniel Bannister Tuesday in Trenton. Bannister’s wife Catherine, who is also facing charges in connection with the death, will be released on bail.

Prosecutors say that Hailey Bannister endured repeated violence in the three months that she was alive. They allege that the baby suffered nine separate skull fractures, four fractured ribs and a seizure.

“A 2- or 3-month-old simply doesn’t wake up with skull fractures, detached retinas and fractured ribs. It just doesn’t happen, they’re not ambulatory,” says assistant prosecutor Michael Grillo.

RELATED: Ewing police officer, wife face charges in death of daughter 

Investigators point to text messages between Catherine Bannister and a friend in which she confided her husband was too rough with Hailey. The texts also said that he was not bonding with the child.

“This whole case is based off speculation. It’s based upon what is a known fact that my client was having trouble bonding with his daughter, which was in the record. No one was hiding that,” says Bannister’s attorney Jeffrey Garrigan.

Hailey died in the hospital in December more than two weeks after becoming mysteriously ill. Prosecutors say that despite Catherine Bannister taking the baby to the doctor several times, she withheld information, declined certain medical care and knew the abuse was occurring.

Catherine Bannister’s attorney denies these claims, calling her a “good mom.”

Daniel Bannister can appeal the ruling while he remains locked up. He has been suspended without pay from the Ewing Police Department.

The Bannisters have a two-year-old son who is being cared for by grandparents. They say Hailey’s head injuries could have been caused when the little boy accidentally hit her head.

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