Topeka teen receives 107 months in prison for child abuse, endangerment
A Topeka teen charged with the abuse of a 7-month-old Holton boy received a sentence of nearly nine years in prison during a sentencing hearing Friday morning in Jackson County District Court.
Koylen McKinney, 18, showed no emotion as District Court Judge Micheal Ireland pronounced sentence on the three charges against him, stemming from an April 2014 incident that reportedly occurred at the Southview apartment complex in Holton. McKinney received a total sentence of 107 months imprisonment, with credit for 279 days already served prior to Friday’s sentencing.
McKinney was charged with aggravated battery, abuse of a child and aggravated endangerment of a child in connection with the April incident, and received, respectively, sentences of 69, 32 and six months on the charges, all to run consecutively. Ireland also said McKinney would be eligible for a 15-percent “good time” credit.
At the time of the incident, the 7-month-old boy was reported to have difficulty breathing and was unresponsive. The boy was airlifted to a Kansas City hospital after the incident, where he remained in critical condition for several weeks, it was reported.
Jackson County Attorney Shawna Miller reminded Ireland and others present in court that as a result of the injuries reportedly suffered at the hands of McKinney, the boy — who was present during the sentencing hearing — would never have a normal life. Prior to the incident, Miller said, the infant was a “perfectly normal” baby, learning to sit up and develop his own senses.
But because of McKinney, Miller argued, the boy is on a feeding tube, has compromised sight and “significant” injuries from which he may never recover.
“It’s but for the grace of God he is still alive today,” she said of the boy. “It’s a miracle. Even the doctors said that.”
How the boy received the injuries remained a mystery, with Holton defense attorney Randy Barker noting that McKinney “snapped” while attempting to take care of the boy but attempted to get help after reportedly dropping him.
“It’s a tragedy for everybody involved,” Barker said. “But he’s taken responsibility for the injuries he’s caused.”
Miller argued that McKinney “did not simply drop this child,” noting that one of his siblings heard a series of “thumps and slams” at the time the incident occurred. She also read a statement from the boy’s mother, who detailed her experiences since the incident and expressed a “wish that he could be 100 percent again.”
Barker attempted to get the sentence reduced on a motion for durational departure that would have the sentences on the first two charges running concurrently. Later, Miller noted that had the case gone to a jury trial, a jury — rather than a judge — could have given McKinney a “double sentence” when deciding a term of imprisonment.
McKinney was 17 at the time of the reported incident and was charged as a juvenile, it was noted. Shortly after charges were filed against him, Miller successfully filed a motion to have him tried as an adult.