By Amy McConnell Schaarsmith Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Knoxville man left to watch over his girlfriend's 11-year-old son while she was at work beat the boy to death over a span of nine hours on Saturday, according to Pittsburgh police.
The 29-year-old boyfriend, Anthony Bush, told police that he began beating the boy, Donovan McKee, with wooden sticks shortly after noon when Donovan failed to vacuum their apartment at 107 Knox Ave. in Beltzhoover as Mr. Bush had instructed, according to a police criminal complaint. The beatings, Mr. Bush told police, lasted until about 9 p.m.
"During the beatings, at times, the sticks would break and Bush would order Donovan to clean up the pieces of the broken sticks," the complaint states, "Bush stated he would take breaks, get new sticks, and continue beating the child throughout the day."
The Allegheny County medical examiner's office has ruled Donovan's death a homicide caused by blunt force trauma to the head, trunk and extremities.
Mr. Bush, who has been charged with endangering the welfare of children and criminal homicide, told police he used at least three sticks, and that he struck Donovan with at least "one clean" head shot during the incident, according to the complaint. Donovan's 5-year-old brother was home at the time and witnessed some of the attacks, but was not harmed, according to the police.
Mr. Bush told police he had been having problems with Donovan lately and knew that he was going to have to discipline him for his behavior. He also told police he had to wait until after the boy's mother, Cynthia McKee, left for work because she often stopped him when he disciplined the children.
Mr. Bush lived at the apartment with Ms. McKee and her sons.
Later in the evening, the complaint states, Mr. Bush noticed Donovan's "head did not feel right" and that he had a large cut on his arm. Mr. Bush told police that he got a needle and thread and sewed up Donovan's wound.
At about 10 p.m., Donovan's mother returned home from work and found her son barely breathing, according to the complaint. Mr. Bush told Ms. McKee to tell police that Donovan fell out a window, but Ms. McKee instead called various family members and then called 911 for help at about 11:45 p.m., according to the police.
When police arrived, they found Donovan lying naked on his back on the living room floor and Mr. Bush sitting on a couch nearby. Donovan was not breathing and did not have a pulse, and officers saw blood in his mouth and on his chest, according to the complaint.
As they performed CPR, Mr. Bush made statements such as, "I did it. I did. It's my fault," and was arrested and taken to police headquarters for questioning, according to the criminal complaint.
Pittsburgh medics who had arrived and taken over the CPR in the meantime found a pulse on Donovan, who was taken to UPMC Mercy and later to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC for treatment. He died at Children's at 2:45 a.m., the complaint states.
Pittsburgh Homicide Detective Patrick Moffatt, who went to the hospital with Donovan, said the boy suffered from multiple bruises and lacerations to his head, arms, legs and trunk, along with a probable left arm and skull fracture, the complaint states. Some of the boy's injuries appeared to be "healed over," according to the criminal complaint.
Mr. Bush was arraigned by night court and held without bond.