Burnsville woman charged with failing to protect son from fatal beating

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH and PAT PHEIFER
  • Star Tribune
  • February 3, 2014 - 10:04 PM

A Burnsville woman was charged Monday with allowing her 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 bail, with conditions.

On Jan. 17, a grand jury charged William A. Warr, 26, with first- and second-degree murder 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.

“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.

Miller, the 2-year-old and Key’ontay’s 8-month-old sister were home. Warr is 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.

When asked about bruises on Key’ontay’s head, Miller 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.

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 his mother in May 2013 that Warr had “whooped” him.

Paul Walsh and Pat Pheifer

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