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Jury Convicts Bloomington Man Of Battery And Neglect In Death Of Baby
Updated March 9, 2017 8:47 AM | Filed under: Crime
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Robierre Jomo Kenya McNeil

(BLOOMINGTON) - A jury convicted a Bloomington man in the death of two-month-old Kenya Roase Smith-Barton.

The baby died Sunday, May 29, 2016 after medical personnel attempted for more than 45 minutes to revive the baby in the emergency room at IU Health Hospital Bloomington .

According to a forensic pathologist, the baby suffered two fractures to the back of her skull and subdural hemorrhaging of the brain caused from blunt force trauma to her head.

On Wednesday, the jury convicted 34-year-old Robierre Jomo Kenya McNiel on felony charges of aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent in the death of his infant daughter.

Both charges carry a sentence of 20 to 40 years in prison. McNiel will be sentenced on April 10th.

McNeil testified that he did not hurt the baby, but that he fell down while holding the baby. McNeil told police that he blamed himself for his daughter's death, but told police that he did not kill her.

Police say McNeil failed to physically check on Kenya, did not get her medical care when he thought she was having trouble breathing and left her in a swing without feeding her for more than 7 hours.

An ambulance crew was dispatched to a home in the 100 block of South Curry Pike after a report that an infant was unresponsive.

Police say McNeil was watching his daughter while her mother was working. In two interviews with detectives, McNeil described his child as "snoring" in her swing.

McNeil told police he woke between 7 and 9 a.m. that Sunday, fed the baby, changed her diaper, swaddled her in a blanket and placed the baby in her swing. He then took a nap until around noon. He then played with his other children.

McNeil told police he heard Kenya snoring and thought it might be related to asthma. He told police he should have moved her to the couch but didn't. He told police he listened in on her, but did not physically go check on the baby.

The baby's mother had left for work about 7:30 a.m. that morning. She told police "Kenya appeared to be perfectly healthy when she left because she would 'coo' as babies do and appeared to be happy."

She also alerted police that McNeil has gotten angry in the past when the baby cried and told her he didn't want to babysit anymore.



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