Two months before the death of his girlfriend’s son, who was born premature and required extra medical care, a Tehachapi man was accused of asking on Facebook if anyone knew how to kill a child in the hospital, according to court documents released Monday.
Daniel McKie, 19, is charged with murder in the death of Anakin William McKie, who died last month at his home in the 12900 block of Umtali Road. An autopsy found the boy suffered multiple bruises to his body and trauma to the skull and brain.
During an interrogation, McKie denied making the disturbing Facebook post, the documents filed by Kern County Sheriff’s Office investigators say. He said his account must have been hacked.
A Child Protective Services investigation determined the accusation to be “unfounded,” according to the court documents, which don’t further explain the CPS investigation.
On Monday afternoon, a deputy public defender entered pleas of not guilty on behalf of McKie, who was arrested March 9. He wore paper clothing, an indication he is on suicide watch.
He is not the biological father of Anakin, but they share the same last name.
Anakin was born three months premature, and spent the first three months of his life at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, the court documents say. He had underdeveloped lungs, and was sent home with an oxygen machine.
The child was only home for 30 days before his death.
According to the documents, McKie told investigators he was carrying Anakin when he tripped over the oxygen machine and fell into a wall. He said Anakin hit his head on the wall when he fell.
McKie said Anakin stopped breathing. He told investigators he “freaked out” and violently shook the boy, hoping he would start breathing again, the documents say.
At one point during the interrogation, McKie sobbed and kept saying, “I killed him,” the documents say. He said he was frustrated with all the doctors appointments and extra treatment Anakin required.
After Monday’s arraignment, Anakin’s grandmother, Michelle Smith, 44, said there is only one way she can classify McKie’s alleged actions.
“I just see him as a murderer,” Smith said.
Jamie Birks, 17, a longtime friend of the Smith family who attended Monday’s proceedings, said McKie is known to have a quick temper and lash out at the people around him.
“Whatever he gets, he kind of does deserve,” she said.
Deputies were dispatched Feb. 26 to a report of a child not breathing in the Sand Canyon area, sheriff’s officials said. Medical help arrived, but the boy died at the scene.
Homicide detectives took over the investigation “due to suspicious injuries” on the child, according to sheriff’s officials.
McKie is being held on $1 million bail. His next hearing is set for March 30.