Pittsburgh mom pleads guilty to manslaughter in 11-year-old's death
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A Knoxville woman who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the death of her son last year will not testify against her live-in boyfriend accused of killing him.
Cynthia McKee, 31, entered her plea Thursday. She will be sentenced by Allegheny County Common Pleas President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel on March 27. Anthony Bush, accused of beating Ms. McKee's 11-year-old son over a period of many hours on Feb. 11, 2012, will go on trial Monday.
The woman had left her son, Donovan McKee, in the care of Mr. Bush while she worked that day. She told investigators that Mr. Bush called her about 8:50 p.m. asking where her sewing needles were and if she could return home. She described him as having urgency in his voice.
When she returned home about 10 p.m., Donovan was lying naked on the couch, wrapped in a blanket. There was blood in his nose and mouth, and he was cold to the touch, said Deputy District Attorney Mark V. Tranquilli.
"He simply moaned when she called out his name," he said.
Officers found Donovan's 5-year-old brother in his bedroom. They also found a bloodied belt on the top bunk in the boys' room, and there was blood spatter on the sheets, ceiling and walls, Mr. Tranquilli said.
Donovan had an oozing wound on his arm that investigators say the man crudely sewed up with a needle and thread.
Ms. McKee waited an hour and 40 minutes before calling 911. Donovan was pronounced dead at UPMC Mercy early the next morning.
The doctor who later performed an autopsy on Donovan noted multiple healed wounds on the boy and said that seeking prompt medical attention could have had a "significant impact" on his well-being.
"The victim may have, in fact, survived this beating if treatment had not been delayed one hour 40 minutes by the defendant," Mr. Tranquilli said.
When Ms. McKee was interviewed by investigators, she told them that Mr. Bush apologized to her and asked her to lie and say that Donovan fell out a window.
She also said she had previously been aware that Mr. Bush used metal and wooden sticks and leather belts to discipline her children. She said he had previously broken her jaw during an argument and that she feared him.
As part of the plea agreement, Mr. Tranquilli asked that a no-contact order be kept in place between Ms. McKee and her younger child. He noted that the plea agreement includes that she will not be required to testify against Mr. Bush.
The woman will be permitted to remain free on electronic monitoring pending sentencing.
First Published January 25, 2013 12:00 am