Portage woman charged with manslaughter in toddler’s death

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A Portage woman is accused of manslaughter in the March death of a little girl she was babysitting.

Tranaya Spencer, 21, sobbed Wednesday as she was arraigned via video on the manslaughter charge, as well as a charge of third-degree child abuse.

Court records identify the child as 2-year-old Royalty Regina Mae Hooper-Houston.

An undated courtesy photo of Royalty Hooper-Houston.

The charges stem from a March 13 incident at an apartment on Dove Court off of Milham Avenue near Oakland Drive in Portage.

Reading the reports in the case against Spencer in court, Judge Tiffany Ankley said Spencer was babysitting Royalty; her boyfriend was a father figure to the girl.

The reports say Royalty was swaddled in a blanket with clothes knotted around it to keep it from opening. Spencer told investigators she put the girl down for a nap on the floor and when she tried to wake her a few hours earlier, she was unresponsive. Spencer said she rushed Royalty into the shower to tried to revive her and in the process hit her head against the wall more than once.

When emergency responders got there around 4 p.m., they found Royalty unconscious on the bathroom floor. Records show her temperature was 106 degrees. They started CPR and rushed her to the hospital.

Royalty died March 17 at the hospital.

A medical examiner determined the cause of death was multiple injuries, including asphyxia, and ruled the death a homicide.

Spencer was arrested Tuesday.

The judge agreed with her attorney that she is not a flight risk, but set a $100,000 bond citing the seriousness of the charges. If Spencer is released on bond, she may not have unsupervised contact with any children without court approval.

Spencer has two children of her own for whom Children’s Protective Services is now caring.

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