Kingsa McKnight was so angry at his 3-year-old son for struggling with potty training that he beat the toddler to death, Pierce County prosecutors alleged Wednesday.
Prosecutors charged the 32-year-old Tacoma man with homicide by abuse and second-degree murder in the death of Terrence Green.
McKnight pleaded not guilty and was ordered jailed in lieu of $1 million bail.
Tacoma police were called Saturday night to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital after medical personnel noticed signs of abuse on the boy.
They later discovered McKnight brought Terrence to an urgent care center June 13 because the child was lethargic and vomiting. A nurse told McKnight to take the toddler to the emergency room but he instead took the boy home, allegedly telling the nurse he preferred to wait and see if his son would eat chicken nuggets.
When Terrence fell unconscious Saturday after again vomiting, his father took him to the hospital.
Doctors performed 12 rounds of CPR on the toddler before placing him on life support, charging papers state. The boy had bruises on his head and chest, a skull fracture and two subdural hemorrhages.
The head injuries allegedly were inflicted hours before Terrence was brought to the hospital.
The boy also suffered a rib fracture and liver laceration within the last month.
He was taken off life support Monday and he died later that day.
The toddler’s parents did not live together and the child had spent most of the month with his father, prosecutors said.
Terrence’s mother told detectives McKnight was angry because their son on two consecutive nights had wet the bed he shared with his father.