A 4-month-old baby whose death was determined a homicide caused by blunt force trauma in 2017 was allegedly squeezed and shaken violently by a man who helped take care of him, according to deputy district attorney David Wilson.
Daniel McKie, 21, is accused of causing the death of 4-month-old Anakin McKie, the son of his girlfriend who died Feb. 26, 2017, in their home in the 12900 block of Umtali Road in Tehacahapi.
An autopsy determined Anakin had injuries consistent with violent shaking, Wilson said during opening statements Wednesday.
Daniel McKie is not the biological father of Anakin McKie, but they share the same last name.
Daniel McKie was formally charged with first-degree murder and assault of a child causing death. His bail was set at $1 million.
McKie’s attorneys declined to present their opening statements until the prosecution rested its case. The trial will continue today with testimony from the prosecution’s witnesses.
Anakin McKie was born prematurely in October 2016 and spent about three months at California Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. During that time, Daniel McKie posted a disturbing status on his Facebook page: “anyone know how to kill a baby while its (sic) in the hospital?”
This led to Daniel McKie being kicked out and banned from the hospital in early January 2017. A doctor advised Anakin’s mother to keep McKie away from the baby, Wilson said.
McKie told investigators his Facebook account was hacked and he did not write the post, Wilson said.
About a month later, Anakin McKie was dead after being alone in a room with Daniel McKie for only a few minutes — Daniel McKie initially claimed he woke up and saw that Anakin McKie wasn’t breathing, Wilson said. Later, Daniel McKie changed his story to detectives, saying he accidentally tripped and fell with the baby in his hands, Wilson said. And then, McKie admitted to shaking and squeezing the baby — Wilson said Daniel McKie told detectives he “killed him” over and over again.
McKie later maintained that Anakin’s death was an accident, Wilson said.
“He killed Anakin McKie,” Wilson said. “Anakin died of injuries that were violent, that were abuse.”
Wilson told jurors that Daniel McKie grew frustrated with his girlfriend and Anakin McKie, and was under stress at the time of the baby’s death.