Prosecutor: Father beat toddler to death, possibly over potty training issues

TACOMA -- A 32-year-old man is charged with beating his 3-year-old son to death earlier this month, allegedly because the boy was having potty training issues and had wet the bed, prosecutors said.

According to the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office, Kingsa McKnight brought his 3-year-old son into a Tacoma urgent care center on June 13 because the boy was lethargic and vomiting. Nurses at the center told McKnight he needed to take the boy to the emergency room as soon as possible. Instead, McKniight took the child home, prosecutors allege.

McKnight did drive his son to the emergency room on June 21 when the boy was unconscious and not breathing. Doctors and emergency workers gave the boy 12 rounds of CPR, prosecutors said, but were not able to revive him and he was placed on life support. The boy had bruises to his head and chest, and a CT scan allegedly revealed subdural hemorrhages and a skull fracture.

Doctors believe the injuries were caused by trauma inflicted just a few hours prior to the victim's arrival at the hospital.

The boy also had a liver laceration and a rib fracture, prosecutors said. He was taken off life-support on June 23 and died.

The mother of the victim, who lived separately from McKnight, told police McKnight was angry at the boy because he was not using the toilet. McKnight also told detectives he shared a bed with his son, and the had wet the bed on two previous nights. Prosecutors believe the boy's potty training issues and the man's anger could be related.

McKnight is charged with second-degree murder in Pierce County Superior Court. He is slated for arraignment at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.