Wednesday, September 06, 2000

Death penalty sought for accused dad

By Dan Horn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a Westwood man accused of beating and stomping to death his 1-year-old daughter.

        Antoine Sanks was indicted Tuesday on aggravated murder charges in the death of Khyaire Irvin-Sanks.

        Hamilton County prosecutors say Mr. Sanks, 19, was baby-sitting the child Aug. 23 when he severely beat her. Under Ohio law, Mr. Sanks will face a possible death sentence because the victim was younger than 13.

        Prosecutors say the mother was at work from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. When she returned home, they say, Mr. Sanks left the house immediately.

        The baby was on her back in the bedroom, gasping for air.

        Police began investigating Mr. Sanks after two 911 calls came from his apartment that evening. Officials say the first call was about the baby having seizures, but the caller hung up. When the dispatcher called back, an answering machine came on.

        Firefighters responded to a second call at 7:50 p.m. about a child having trouble breathing, according to the police dispatch log.

        Firefighters called police after arriving, saying they suspected child abuse. Police say the baby had bruises on her face and head. She was taken to Children's Hospital Medical Center, where she died.

        The coroner found the child suffered a major injury to her liver and a fractured skull. Prosecutors say the injuries suggest the child was slammed against something.


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