Ewing police officer, wife charged in death of 3-month-old child

Authorities say Daniel Bannister, 31, has been charged with murder and his wife, Catherine Bannister, 29, has been charged with second-degree endangering the welfare.

A Ewing police officer and his wife were indicted Friday on charges stemming from the brutal death of the couple's 3-month-old child last Dec. 

Prosecutors charged Daniel Banniester, 31, with one count of first-degree murder and Catherine Bannister with one count of second-degree reckless manslaughter. Both were charged with one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

Investigators say on Dec. 5th emergency responders were dispatched to the Bannister's Ewing-area home. At the residence, emergency personnel found Hailey Bannister not breathing and in cardic arrest. Hailey was transported to Capital Health Center's Hopewell campus where medical officials say the child had suffered a fractured skull, brain bleed and several fractured ribs.

Due to the suspicious and brutal extent of Hailey's injuries, authorities opened an investigation immediately after the child was admitted to the hospital. 

After several days in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Children's Hospital, Hailey succumbed to her injuries on Dec. 11. 

Middlesex County Medical Examiner concluded that Hailey died after complications from blunt force trauma of the head including skill fractures and hemorrhage. The corner says the nature of her injuries indicated an ongoing pattern of abuse and ruled the death a homicide.