Coon Rapids man accused in baby’s death

A Coon Rapids man faces a murder charge in Hennepin County District County in connection with the death of baby boy in February.

Kentae Denario Todd, 20, 1057 95th Lane N.W., was arraigned in court June 7 on felony second-degree murder and gross misdemeanor child neglect charges.

Bail was set at $500,000 and he is due back in court June 28.

Todd’s girlfriend Shacara Tenell Foster, 27, the baby’s mother, has been charged with the same offenses. The two had been dating since the summer of 2011 and Todd was not the baby’s father.

The death of the baby, who was born in June 2010, occurred Feb. 10 at a residence in St. Bonifacius where Todd and Foster and her two children were living in a home that was rented by Todd’s mother and stepfather, who were also living there along with Todd’s 11 siblings ranging in age from 19 to two.

They have since moved to Coon Rapids, where Todd was arrested June 7.

Minnetrista Police responded to the St. Bonifacius address the night of Feb. 10 where paramedics were trying to resuscitate the baby, who was later pronounced dead.

When the baby had last been by a pediatrician Jan. 10 for a well-baby check, records state that he was a healthy toddler who passed the infant development inventory for his age, according to the complaint.

Witnesses allege that Foster left the boy, as well as her baby girl, born in July 2011, in Todd’s care in the days before Feb. 10.

The complaint alleges that the home contained garbage, rotting food, animals, dead animals, animal waste and otherwise filthy conditions.

Both the children slept in portable Pack-And-Play-type portable cribs with heavy blankets and other bedding in them that the complaint alleges were wholly inappropriate for a sleep environment.

The complaint alleges that neither Todd nor Foster assumed care giving responsibilities for the two children, Foster leaving the children with Todd for significant periods of time.

The baby boy was usually kept in the basement with or by Todd, and the other school-age children in the house allegedly reported not seeing the boy in days prior to Feb. 10.

In a non-custodial interview Feb. 16, Todd alleged that Foster left her two children with him about a week earlier and he noticed that the boy was fussy a couple of days before Foster returned Feb. 10.

The day before Todd alleged that when he was trying to take care of the boy downstairs and the baby girl upstairs, he heard a noise and saw the boy at the bottom of the stairs in the basement crying, implying he might have fallen down the stairs.

That night, Todd alleged the boy reached for a bowl of noodles and somehow burned his hand. He alleged he called Foster, but she did not answer, so he put cold water on it and wrapped it.

The morning of Feb. 10, when his mother asked Todd if he would watch her young children, he alleged that the boy was crying a lot, would not eat all day, he took his temperature which was 102.6 and the baby put up his arm up and refused to put it down.

He alleged that when he contacted Foster, she told him to put the boy on the bed and let him sleep.

According to the complaint, Todd gave the boy some medicine, took his temperature later which showed 98.5, then the next time he took it the temperature was 101.

Todd alleged he left the house to go to the store at 6 p.m., admitting that he did not arrange for supervision for either the baby boy or girl, who were sleeping at the time.

He alleged that when Foster arrived home about 7 p.m., she socialized before checking on the babies about 9:30 p.m.

Two hours later, Todd alleged that Foster screamed that the baby boy was not breathing.

He allegedly admitted to smoking marijuana that evening.

According to the complaint, the autopsy, which was completed at the Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner’s Office in April, showed that the boy’s death was due to complications from neglect and the manner of his death was a homicide.

Specifically, the autopsy report stated that the baby died from a blood infection from the burn on his hand, which was extremely serious, his right wrist had a fresh fracture and he had internal bleeding in his abdomen, which was caused by recent blunt force trauma.

In addition, he had a recent non-healing skull fracture and other healing fractures, including a rib, upper arm and a bone in the top of the leg.

According to the autopsy report, the baby had hemorrhages to the brain consistent with numerous impacts from blunt force trauma as well as injuries to his right foot consistent with a cigarette burn and injuries to other parts of his body.

Toxicology tests showed that the boy had high levels of medication consistent with adult cold and flu medication, which were not appropriate for a baby and would have a sedative effect.

The complaint alleges that the baby’s injuries would have been apparent to anyone who saw the child Feb. 10, but at no time on that date, nor at any time between when Foster left the baby in the care of Todd and when paramedics arrived, did Todd seek medical care for the boy.

Foster was arrested for felony neglect in late March.

A check of the baby girl Feb. 14 showed she had no abusive injuries, the complaint states.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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