Man linked to dead Mich. boy indicted on assault

Bay City, Michigan (AP) July 2012
A federal grand jury has charged a central Michigan man with assaulting a 4-year-old boy weeks before his remains were found buried and badly burned.

Anthony Bennett, 20, is not charged in the death of Carnel Chamberlain. The indictment filed replaces a temporary assault charge that has kept him in jail since late June.

The one-sentence indictment said Bennett “caused substantial bodily injury” in early June. A search for Carnel ended June 28 when his remains were found under his house on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian reservation near Mount Pleasant.

Bennett lived at the home with Carnel and the boy’s mother, Jaimee Chamberlain. She has said Bennett was watching her son while she was at work on June 21, the day that Carnel disappeared. The homicide investigation remains active.  

Defense lawyer Anthony Chambers said the assault case is not strong because it seems to rest only on the statements of Jaimee Chamberlain. She told the FBI that she witnessed the abuse, according to an earlier court filing.

“It is an uncorroborated allegation. There are no police reports, no proof that (Carnel) was even treated,” Chambers said.