Bianca Jones: At hearing on murder, abuse charges, tot's sister says dad hit her

Bianca Jones:
At hearing on murder, abuse charges, tot's sister says dad hit her
April 18, 2012
Detroit Free Press
Melanie D. Scott

The 8-year-old sister of Bianca Jones testified Tuesday that her father, D'Andre Lane, hit her after she wet the bed and then stuffed the panties she had on into her mouth as part of her punishment.

"It was the time I thought I was on the toilet, but I was in the bed," the 8-year-old said about the incident. "He was holding them (the panties) in my face, then put them underneath my tongue and it hurt."

The testimony came after the girl told the court about what she said happened at Lane's house the morning of Dec. 2, the day 2-year-old Bianca disappeared.

"I didn't see Bebe," the girl said, referring to Bianca. The girl said she put on her school clothes, washed her face and waited in the living room for Lane.

As the girl got into the car, she said, Lane picked up the car seat carrying Bianca, but "the cover (her blanket) was over her."

The girl, who briefly waved to her father in court, testified that Bianca never tried to remove the cover from her face and that she was not making a sound. When Bianca slept, the girl said, "she usually snores."

Lane, 32, who was charged last month with first-degree felony murder and first-degree child abuse in connection with Bianca's disappearance, was in 36th District Court in Detroit for a preliminary examination Tuesday before Judge Ruth Carter. He faces life in prison without parole if convicted of the murder charge.

Although prosecutors contend Bianca was subjected to abuse from her father on the day she disappeared, Lane repeatedly has denied involvement in the toddler's disappearance.

Lane told police two men carjacked him at gunpoint and took off in his 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis with Bianca strapped in her car seat in the back on the morning of Dec. 2. Police found Lane's car running several blocks away from what he said was the carjacking site, but Bianca was not in the car. Prosecutors have presumed that she is dead.

Martin Grime, a forensic canine expert, testified that he traveled from England and arrived Dec. 4 in Detroit with two English springer spaniels: Morse, who specializes in victim recovery, and Keela, who detects human blood.

Grime said Morse detected a human decomposition odor in a room where Bianca slept at Lane's house as well as on her blanket and car seat found in Lane's car.

"The dog's final response is vocal," Grime said. "He barks, and as the dog searches, their behavior changes and they become more intense."

Morse searched inside and outside Lane's house in the 19300 block of Mitchell on Detroit's east side, Grime said. "There was an immediate change of behavior."

Grime said Morse was able to pick out Lane's car, which was parked among 31 others in a lot. The other cars in the lot did not get a response from the dog.

Grime said his dogs did not detect a decomposition odor on the clothing Lane was wearing the day he was taken into custody, which was the same day Bianca disappeared. He also said that a body starts decomposing immediately after breathing stops.

Testimony in the preliminary examination is expected to resume April 27.

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