A Kern County jury has found a Tehachapi man guilty of second-degree murder in a case involving the death of a 4-month-old child.
In addition to the murder charge, Daniel McKie, of Tehachapi, was found guilty of felony assault causing death of a child under 8, during court proceedings on Tuesday.
McKie had stood accused of causing the death of Anakin McKie, the son of his girlfriend, who died Feb. 26, 2017.
Deputies dispatched to a Tehachapi residence, along with responding medical personnel, determined Anakin had died before their arrival. They noticed the baby had signs of trauma to the head, which triggered a homicide investigation, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.
An autopsy later determined that Anakin’s injuries were consistent with violent shaking and was a homicide.
According to court documents, McKie had asked on Facebook if anyone knew how to kill a child in the hospital just two months before the death of Anakin.
McKie claimed his account had been hacked, but Child Protective Services found the accusation to be unfounded, the documents said.
Anakin had been born three months early, spending those months at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the documents say. The baby’s lungs were underdeveloped, and the hospital sent the boy home with an oxygen machine.
“Children are society’s most vulnerable members, and those entrusted with their care have a responsibility to ensure that they are not harmed,” District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said in a news release. “When a caretaker violates that trust by intentionally injuring a child and causing its death, we stand ready to hold them accountable for their crimes.”
McKie’s sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 1. He faces a punishment of 25 years to life in prison.