“This is about as heinous as it gets”, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Green about the tragic case of 15-week-old Evelyn Deuman, and he was right. This is one of the worst stories I’ve ever come across. This will be hard to read, but Evelyn deserves to have her story known.
On August 12th, 2011 Evelyn died from asphyxiation while her father was orally raping her. There was no gentle way to break that. According to Deuman, this was all an accident. He was frustrated with little Evelyn when he laid her on his bed with a blanket and went out for a cigarette. While he was outside, Evelyns’s mother, Natasha Maitland, called to say she was coming home from work. Suddenly, Deuman had a “bad feeling” and went to check on the baby. He found Evelyn on the floor bleeding from her nose, unconscious, and not breathing, with a used condom in her mouth. Deuman did not call 911, but instead spent the evening going over scenarios that might explain what happened. Right, because that’s what any dad would do if he innocently found his baby girl dead on the floor?!
Deuman took a polygraph test during which he hinted perhaps his body did it while his mind was possessed by an evil spirit. What bullshit! Not surprisingly, the results showed him to be deceptive in his answers.
Throughout the trial, the defense maintained that the death was an accident and that the mobile home they shared with ten other people was “an accident waiting to happen.” While I agree that a mobile home with ten people probably is an accident waiting to happen, sexual assault is not an accidental result of overcrowding! Steven Deuman is a demented waste of human skin that would have done this no matter how many people he lived with!
The only witness for the defense was the chief medical examiner, Ljubisa Jovan Dragovic. Usually a prosecution witness, Dragovic said he considered the manner of death to be indeterminate, not homicide. This was supposed to cast doubt on the prosecution’s theory, but in no way supported the defense’s theory that Evelyn somehow rolled all the way off the bed and just happened to fall face down on a used condom and choke on it.
Dr. William Bush, a Grand Rapids pediatrician, testified for the prosecution about the development of a 15-week-old child. When asked if he would expect a baby that age to roll over obstacles, such as blankets, he answered, “absolutely not”. Also testifying on behalf of the prosecution was Evelyn’s mother, Natasha, who had proved extremely important to the investigation. My heart is broken for her and the unimaginable horror that she has gone through. Jurors also heard from witnesses who, as children, claimed they were sexually abused by Deuman.
This week, jurors took less than an hour to convict Deuman of first-degree murder and aggravated sexual assault. Unfortunately, Steven gets a break he doesn’t deserve because of the location in which he committed this horrific crime. Normally, capital murder charges are subject to the death penalty. This case was handled in federal court because the murder occurred on an American Indian reservation in Michigan. Like most tribes in the U.S., the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians declined to make capital crimes subject to the death penalty. The Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994 “conditionally eliminated” the death penalty on Native American lands unless a tribe’s governing body reinstated the penalty. Deuman faces a mandatory life sentence.
Evelyn was a beautiful little angel, gone too soon because of her disgusting “father’s” perverse desires. Crimes like this will always make decent people wonder why. There is no point in puzzling over why Steven Deuman is a monster. All we can do is bear witness to Evelyn’s suffering and to not let her memory fade. RIP, Evelyn, I’m so sorry you had to miss your life. You deserved the best.
***Special thanks to Your Pal, Nancy for the write-up and tip.***