TACOMA, WA – Today Kingsa McKnight, 34, was sentenced to 343 months in prison for the 2014 beating death of his 3-year-old son. In December 2015, McKnight pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree and assault in the first degree. This was the high-end maximum for the sentencing range.
“Children are innocents who need our care and protection,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “This horrific abuse defies explanation.”
On June 13, 2014, McKnight took his son to an urgent care center because he was lethargic and vomiting. The nurse told him the child needed to go to the emergency department immediately, but McKnight took his son home instead.
Eight days later, the child lost consciousness and McKnight drove him to the hospital. After 12 rounds of CPR, the victim was placed on life support. He had bruises on his head and chest, and a CT scan revealed two subdural hemorrhages and a skull fracture. Doctors determined the head injuries were caused by trauma, and were inflicted just a few hours prior to the victim’s arrival at the hospital. Further testing showed the victim had suffered a liver laceration and a rib fracture at different times during the last month.
On June 23, the victim was taken off life support and he died.
The victim’s parents lived separately, and the victim had spent the last three days in his father’s care. The victim’s mother told detectives that McKnight was angry because the victim was having potty training issues. McKnight told detectives that he shared a bed with his son, and his son had wet the bed the two previous nights.
Communications and Public Information Coordinator
Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office