Life in Prison Sentence Sought Against Bloomington Man Accused of Smothering Infant

(BLOOMINGTON) — Prosecutors are seeking life in prison without parole for a Bloomington man who allegedly smothered his girlfriend’s infant son with a pillow.

The 2-month-old baby died July 30, 2019 after 19-year-old Dakota King, who was watching the child, got mad at the baby after the infant spit up milk on his clothes.

King is jailed without bond on charges that include murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

A Monroe County judge appointed a public defender to represent King during his initial hearing last week.

On July 30, 2019 at approximately 5:31 p.m., officers responded to the IU Health Bloomington Hospital Emergency Department regarding a two-month old infant that had been brought to the hospital in very poor health.

Officials say that the child died by the time the officers arrived.

Emergency Department staff explained to officers that there were several inconsistencies in statements made by members of the infant’s family.

An examination of the child revealed visible injuries to the child’s face.

According to Bloomington Police Captain Ryan Pedigo, investigators began interviewing family members and learned that Dakota King had yelled at and squeezed the baby due to it crying.

King then allegedly placed the infant face-down in a bassinet and used his hand to shove the infant’s face into bedding in an attempt to get the baby to stop crying.

Police obtained a search warrant for the apartment where the child lived. The apartment was located in the 1500 block of West Kirkwood Avenue. While searching the apartment, police discovered a reddish-brown stain in the infant’s bassinet that appeared to be blood which was consistent with the injuries observed on the child’s face at the hospital.

King was interviewed and admitted to investigators that he had gotten angry earlier in the day when the child spit up milk on his clothing. King stated that he placed the infant in the bassinet and placed his hands on the back of the infant’s head to hold the child down.

He admitted that the child was crying so he pushed the child’s head down into the pillow of the bassinet until the child stopped crying. King then left the infant in the bassinet until the child’s mother returned home from work later in the day and discovered that the infant did not appear to be breathing.

At the conclusion of the interview, King was arrested and incarcerated in the Monroe County Jail.