MacKenzie Lynn Maison
March 3, 2010 - May 26, 2015
Find A Grave Memorial

In May of 2015, a call was made in the case of a child who was in need of help. Police arrived to find MacKenzie Maison was unresponsive and she was transported to the hospital. McKenzie was unable to be resuscitated and later, she was pronounced dead.

Two people were taken into custody in connection with MacKenzie's death when Police began to suspect that she had been abused. Police Chief Michael Reaves stated that Andrew Maison, the 25 year old father and Hilery Maison, the 27 year old step-mother of MacKenzie were in custody facing child abuse charges:

"There is evidence of foul play present at the scene. We are treating
this as a homicide investigation"

An autopsy was going to take place and that would determine the cause of death for this beautiful, little Angel girl.

Living in the home with MacKenzie were three other children who were all under the age of 11, one who was MacKenzie's sister, Makala. All of the children left in the home were removed and one child was taken to the hospital with concerns of malnourishment and severe dehydration:

"Both children had severe signs of malnourishment and dehydration.
The other two children appear to be fine"
Police Chief Michael Reaves

The two remaining children were taken into protective custody.

In 2013, the mother of MacKenzie and Makala had lost custody of her two daughters and they would then go to live with their father Andrew and she had not seen her daughters in over a year. Shelby Coffee said she wasn't sure if Andrew and Hilery had intentionally been ignoring the needs of her children and when she would talk to them, they were very vague about how the girls were doing:

"All I got was, the kids are doing great, kids are doing great.
Obviously, they're not"

Hilery's father, Frank Hawkins said that he had never seen any signs of abuse in the home, he stated that McKenzie and Makala simply would not eat:

"The kids have been giving her problems with eating. Both of the
little girls have. We've lost a wonderful, young, beautiful grandchild.
I don't think this was an intentional starvation, whatever, it was not
anything like that. My daughter is not malicious nor is my son-in-law"



Andrew and Hilery were charged with murder, torture and child abuse. Prosecutors said that the abuse and neglect of MacKenzie and Makala was ongoing and intentional on the part of Andrew and Hilery. The abuse suffered by the girls left Makala in the hospital and Mackenzie was dead. Shelby said about MacKenzie:

"She was five years old. She was the brightest little girl. Very
independent, beautiful and she was my world. Watch out for
your kids. No matter what, no matter if you think you can trust
each other or not. It was always excuses, too busy, working,
they're not here"

Andrew and Hilery both entered pleas of not guilty and Hilery asked for an attorney while Andrew had no lawyer and bond was denied for both of them. Hilery said to the judge:

"I would like to fight with this, there is no truths in most of what was
said. I've given the detectives everything, every detail of what happened
that day, there was no intention on any of this"

At the time of her death, MacKenzie weighed only 25 pounds, had pneumonia and was suffering with a genital infection. Makala, who was three years old, weighed only 17 pounds where a normal sized three year old would weigh about 30 pounds and a five year old would weigh about 40 pounds. Assistant Prosecutor Mona Armstrong said that both of these children were severely malnourished and that the other two children in the home were ages 10 and one. The other two children in the home were healthy and had been placed in foster care:

"There are two victims in this particular case. The girls were severely
neglected and denied food and nourishment over course of weeks
to months"

After the autopsy was completed the results were not made public immediately, lab tests were needing to be completed:

"It's heartbreaking. It's not the type of case any prosecutor wants to handle,
but it has to be handled. I think the facts will establish why two children were
treated differently than the other two"
County Prosecutor Mike Wendling

Mike Wendling said that though there were many questions still needing to be answered, he was sure that the evidence would show that there was malicious intent in the neglect the girls had suffered.

On Friday, May 29, 2015, a candle light vigil was held for MacKenzie. Hundreds of people gathered with balloons and candles.




In January of 2016 Andrew and Hilery were in court charged with felony murder, first degree child abuse and torture. It was revealed that Mackenzie had Pneumonia in both of her lungs when she died though severe dehydration and malnutrition were the reason she had Pneumonia when she died:

"Kids don't just get Pneumonia. This is an ongoing pattern that put
the child in a very debilitative state that put the child at risk for
Pneumonia. To anybody who has any experience with a child,
that child is profoundly underweight and malnourished"
Medical Examiner - Daniel Spitz

Testimony given on another day showed that Mackenzie had no pulse and had not been breathing when Paramedics had gone to the home and found her unresponsive, they said she looked lifeless. Andrew and Hilery told Paramedics that MacKenzie had only been unresponsive for a few minutes, which was clearly a lie. In the emergency room, hospital employees worked on MacKenzie for 45 minutes but were not able to save her life.

Jurors were seen wiping tears from their eyes as pictures showing bruises on Mackenzie's head, face, legs, feet and body were shown in various stages of healing:

"Not only is this child not being given appropriate means to survive,
there are also some physical issues with how this child is being handled"
Daniel Spitz

Daniel Spitz said that MacKenzie's cause of death was dehydration and malnutrition which was complicated by the fact that she had Pneumonia. MacKenzie's temperature, which was taken at the hospital, was far below what it would be for someone who had only been unresponsive for a short time. Michael Boucher, Attorney for Hilery, asked questions about supposed mistakes that had been made in the past by Daniel Spitz, those questions were objected to and then when asked how much he charges to testify in court, Daniel Spitz said $350. to $375. per hour.

Daniel Spitz testified that his determination about the cause of MacKenzie's death was made after looking at the evidence which included her medical records. Daniel Spitz said that dehydration could be caused by Pneumonia and malnutrition could be the result of natural causes. In 2013 MacKenzie had visited the Doctor and she weighed 28 pounds and had dropped to 27 pounds eight ounces in 2014. MacKenzie did not visit the Doctor again before she died:

"What you see is a trend dating back approximately two years where
the child is not gaining weight. Over time the caloric needs of the child
are not being met by the caloric intake"

In the month of January 2016 Andrew and Hilery were both found guilty of felony murder, first degree child abuse and torture in the death of MacKenzie as well as first degree child abuse and torture in the case of Makala. Hilery cried as she was handcuffed and lead from the courtroom. The Senior Assistant Prosecutor had this to say:

"It doesn't change what happened and it doesn't bring back MacKenzie,
but it should never have gotten to this point"


Mona Armstrong said that the children had received a certain level of justice due to the verdict from the jury. Andrew and Hilery were taken to jail and would be sentenced on March 10th.

On March 10, 2016, Judge Daniel Kelly stated in court that MacKenzie's case was the third case of a child abuse death taking place at the hands of parents and step-parents:

"The monstrous acts that led to the murder of MacKenzie Masison
defy explanation or understanding. What puzzles me is how, in a
community so dedicated to combating child abuse or neglect, these
conditions go undetected until it is too late. Those who saw and
chose to do nothing are, in my mind, equally responsible for this
crime. They must share the blame"

Andrew and and Hilery were dressed in orange and wearing shackles and sat in silence during the sentencing hearing.

In court it came out that Makala had doubled her weight and was continuing to grow:

"She doesn't settle down, still smiling, still bubbly. Even though
MacKenzie was as strong soldier, she didn't make it, but
MacKenzie is always Makala's night Angel. She'll always be a
spiritual role modle not only for her little sister, but for me, my
family and this community"
Shelby Coffee

As it always is, Senior Prosecutor Mona Armstrong said that this case had been a difficult one for all of those involved:

"It did not happen overnight, it didn't happen in a period of a
few weeks, this took months to get to the point that these
children were in the grave state they were in. It's unfathomable
how parents could not only allow that to happen, but to
purposefully cause that to happen. That is a specific kind of evil"

Judge Daniel Kelly sentence Andrew and Hilery to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Defense Lawyers had asked for a prison term in years for the child abuse and torture charges, but the Judge gave each of them life for those charges as well.

I have to say that whenever I see a Judge give life without parole for child abuse murders, it brings tears of joy to my face. There shouldn't be any plea deals, there shouldn't be any time off for good behavior. Anyone who kills a child while abusing them, should go to prison and never get out. There is NOTHING in this world that a child could do that would make them deserve to be abused or neglected to death. I wish I could personally hug every Judge who gives life without parole to those who abuse and neglect children to death.



  

OBITUARY:

Mackenzie Lynn Maison
March 3, 2010 - May 26, 2015


Mackenzie Lynn Maison, 5, of Port Huron, passed away on May 26, 2015.
She was born on March 3, 2010 in Port Huron.

Mackenzie enjoyed having her hair done, laughing and playing with her sisters. She loved to play dress up and always wanted to play mommy. Mackenzie was always smiling.

She is survived by her mother, Shelby Coffee of Kimball; sisters: Melody Lee Coffee, Makayla Maison and Maddalyn Maison; her brother, Ethan Schmidt; grandparents, Myrle Hammer, Frank (Angi) Hawkins, David Maison, Dennis Maison and Sharon Maison and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Funeral services will be held 12:00 p.m. Tuesday in the Jowett Funeral Home, 1634 Lapeer Ave. at 17th Street, Port Huron. The Rev. Max Amstutz will officiate. Burial will be in Lakeside Cemetery.

Visiting hours will be held Monday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Tuesday 11:00 a.m. until the time of services at 12:00 p.m. in the funeral home.

Memorial tributes may be made to the Wishes of the Family.

Thank you to Angila for sending me this story.

Death Occurred in the state of Michigan
This page was created on June 22, 2016

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