Police have arrested a New Jersey police officer in connection with the death of his 3-month-old daughter last year.
Daniel Bannister, 31, is an officer with the Ewing Township Police Department. He was arrested on Wednesday.
Now he faces a murder charge in what prosecutors called an “ongoing pattern of abuse” and the December 2018 death of Hailey Bannister.
He’s not the only one who was arrested. So was the girl’s mother – 29-year-old Catherine Bannister.
She charged with second-degree endangerment of a child’s welfare.
After Hailey’s death, there was an autopsy performed. It found the baby died from blunt-impact trauma, including skull fractures and a subdural hemorrhage.
“The nature of Hailey’s injuries indicated an ongoing pattern of abuse,” Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri said in a statement.
On December 5, 2018, paramedics rushed to the Bannister home after a report came in of an unresponsive child. She was in cardiac arrest and was not breathing. Six days later, she died in the hospital.
Since his daughters death, Bannister, who has been with the Ewing police department since 2017, has been suspended with pay.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
It’s the second New Jersey officer making headlines today who is facing murder charges.
Earlier, we reported that police say 49-year-old John Formisano shot his estranged wife to death Sunday night in an incident that also left the woman’s boyfriend seriously wounded.
Formisano has now been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and endangering the welfare of the two children he shared with the victim, his 37-year-old wife Christie Formisano.
The two had been separated and were living apart.
Jefferson Township Police Department sent officers to Christie’s residence after receiving 911 calls about gunfire.
“Upon arrival, first responding officers located a deceased woman’s body laying on the front porch steps” of a nearby residence, reads a statement from the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.
Police say the 24-year veteran of the Newark Police Department allegedly followed his fleeing wife, shooting her … right in front of horrified neighbors.
“A second victim, male, age 40, was located with multiple gunshot wounds” inside Christie’s residence, said police.
According to the affidavit, Formisano broke down the door to his wife’s bedroom. Police say he then shot the unnamed man in the thigh, hand, arms and abdomen.
Apparently his wife escaped the room, but Formisano allegedly chased her down the street.
Hours after the murder, Formisano was found in a parking lot in Livingston, New Jersey.
“The defendant was taken into the custody of law enforcement in Livingston,” said an affidavit. “The firearm believed to be used by the defendant to inflict the injuries was collected from the defendant’s motor vehicle.”
Formisano is being held for psychiatric evaluation and has not yet entered formal pleas on the charges.
According to an affidavit, Formisano told the officers who had arrested him that he’d “blacked out” after arriving at the Jefferson home he’d once shared with his wife. He apparently went there to drop off eyeglasses for one of their children.
But he also told detectives that he remembered shooting his estranged wife and the man who was in the bedroom of the home.
“After entering the residence, Formisano stated that he began to suspect that (Christie Formisano) had a male guest in the bedroom, at which point he ‘blacked out,’” says the court document. “He stated that he recalls firing his weapon numerous times” at both victims.
Christie didn’t survive the gunshot wounds to the abdomen, arm, leg, hand and head.
There were surveillance cameras that captured some of the incident, police said.
For now, Formisano has been suspended without pay.