New Jersey

Ewing Police Officer, Wife Indicted in Killing of 3-Month-Old Daughter

Ewing Township police officer Daniel Bannister is accused of 1st-degree murder, while his wife, Catherine, faces a 2nd-degree reckless manslaughter charge

What to Know

  • Daniel Bannister, 31, is charged in the murder of his 3-month-old daughter Hailey, who died in December of last year.
  • Bannister's wife and Hailey's mother Catherine Bannister is also charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
  • Daniel Bannister was suspended from the Ewing Township Police Department in December.

A suspended New Jersey police officer has been indicted for the murder of his baby girl last year.

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri announced Friday that a grand jury has indicted Ewing Township police officer Daniel Bannister on a first-degree murder charge in the December 2018 death of 3-month-old Hailey Bannister.

The grand jury indicted Bannister's wife, Catherine, on a second-degree reckless manslaughter charge.

Both Bannisters also face a second-degree child endangerment charge, Onofri said.

Daniel Bannister, 31, was taken into custody in July at a Ewing Wawa store.

The investigation began on Dec. 5, 2018, when medics responded to the Bannister’s home in Ewing Township for a report of an unresponsive baby girl having difficulty breathing and in cardiac arrest. Hailey was taken to Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell where doctors determined she suffered a fractured skull, brain bleed and multiple fractured ribs. She was transferred to Robert Wood Johnson Children’s Hospital where she died on Dec. 11.

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit and Homicide Task Force were contacted due to the suspicious nature of the girl’s injuries. An Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office autopsy determined the girl died from blunt impact trauma of the head, which included skull fractures and subdural hemorrhage.

Hailey's death was ruled a homicide and investigators said the injuries indicated an ongoing pattern of abuse.

Mercer County Prosecutor's Office

NBC10 visited the couple's home in July for comment. A man, who did not identify himself, claimed Bannister had been falsely accused.

Bannister's neighbor told NBC10 he had seen warning signs.

"He kept getting real aggressive with me," the neighbor said. "Screaming a whole bunch of nonsense all around the neighborhood."

Daniel Bannister had been hired by the Ewing Township Police Department in May 201,7 but was suspended from the force in December, Ewing police said in July.

It was unclear if either of the Bannisters has an attorney who could comment for them.

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