A Burnsville woman was charged Monday with allowing her live-in boyfriend to fatally beat her 4-year-old son and then failing to get the child medical attention in time to save his life.
Sha’reese Monique Miller, 24, was charged in Dakota County District Court with three counts of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Key’ontay Miller Peterson on June 11 at the boy’s home. Miller remains jailed in lieu of $50,000, with conditions.
On January 17, a grand jury charged William A. Warr, 26, with murder in the first and second degree in the killing. Warr had what prosecutors describe as an ongoing relationship with Miller despite an order for protection prohibiting him from having contact with her, the 4-year-old and the child’s 2-year-old brother.
The criminal complaint against Miller noted that Warr had physically assaulted her at least 100 times during their relationship, in at least once instance holding a gun and threatening to shoot her and her family, and also choking and dragging her another time.
Miller admitted to letting Warr violate the protection order, the complaint added, noting that his clothing was in a closet and his prescription pill bottles were in a medicine cabinet.
“These charges allege that Sha’reese Miller failed to protect her son from a person she knew was harming him, placing him in extreme danger by doing so, and that she failed to seek timely medical care when his life could have been saved,” County Attorney James Backstrom said in a statement.
According to the criminal complaints in the two cases:
Police and paramedics were called late in the afternoon to Miller’s townhouse on Horizon Heights Road, just off Hwy. 13, and found Key’ontay dead on his bedroom floor.
“The medics believed that [Key’ontay] had been dead for some time,” according to the complaint against Miller.
Miller, the 2-year-old and Key’ontay’s 8-month-old sister were home. Warr was the father of the 8-month-old but not of Key’ontay or his brother.
The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office found that Key’ontay died from blows to his chest and abdomen. He had bruises on his head, face, arms, chest and back and had eight broken ribs, which occurred on at least two occasions. There also was bruising on an upper thigh “consistent with an adult human bite mark,” the complaint continued.
Key’ontay’s mother told police that the boy had been complaining of stomach pain and flulike symptoms since June 6. She said he stopped breathing as she was giving him a bath to bring down his fever.
An investigator with the medical examiner’s office questioned Miller about some injuries.
When asked about bruises on Key’ontay’s head, she said his little brother hit him with a toy car.
When asked about bruises on Key’ontay chest, she said those were “skin pigmentations” that he’s had since birth.
When asked about scratches on Key’ontay’s arm, she blamed those on scratching.
Warr has admitted to police that he had physically disciplined Key’ontay but denied killing the boy.
The investigation also found that Key’ontay told a day-care worker in February 2012 and his mother in May 2013 that Warr had “whooped” him, causing visible injuries.