Oshawa’s Denim Henderson convicted of manslaughter in death of nine-month old Kaleb McKay

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Published December 14, 2021 at 5:11 pm

The jury declared Denim Henderson guilty of manslaughter in the death of Kaleb McKay, his girlfriend’s baby, on December 10 after two days of deliberation.

McKay was found unresponsive nearly five years ago in the Oshawa apartment he shared with his sister, his mother Jordan Brownell, and Brownell’s boyfriend, Henderson.

Henderson moved into the apartment in September 2016, when the crown argued at trial McKay began to suffer the repeated injuries that ultimately culminated in his death on December 29.

Henderson told the court that he had put McKay down for a nap in his crib, before leaving to pick up some marijuana. He returned home with a friend and they proceeded to hang out for several hours, having a few beers. He called December 29 a normal day off work in his testimony.

Henderson said when he returned to check on McKay three or four hours later he found the infant unresponsive.“I put my hand down on his back and it was freezing…I was trying to give him CPR, but it wasn’t working. He was so cold.”

Henderson claims he was trying to warm Kaleb. The Crown suggested in the trial that this was an attempt to wash blood off of Kaleb, which Henderson denied. Blood was later found in Kaleb’s crib. Brownell claimed this was from a diaper rash in her testimony.

First responders found Henderson in the tub when they arrived. They took over efforts to resuscitate Kaleb that ultimately failed. Police initially handled McKay’s death as a sudden death investigation.

However, after a post-mortem found numerous injuries; including fractures in his skull, leg, arm, ribs and spine and bruises across his body, the homicide unit began investigating. Some of these injuries were old enough to begin healing by the time Kaleb died.

After an 18 month investigation, Henderson and Brownell were both arrested. During the trial Henderson refuted Crown allegations he had ever harmed Kaleb. Brownell backed up this testimony saying she had no knowledge of Kaleb’s injuries.

When the Crown pushed her on specific injuries, she backtracked, saying she noticed some light bruising. Dr Emma Cory, a pediatrician, testified, that at the time of Kaleb’s death “he’s got so many fractures he’s unlikely to be mobile.”

During the trial crown prosecutors posited a theory that Henderson lost his temper with McKay while putting him to bed. They suggested he smothered Kaleb against a crib mat. Henderson denied this.

The trial concluded on December 8. For two days jurors deliberated, ultimately concluding that Henderson was guilty of manslaughter, aggravated assault and failure to provide the necessities of life. Henderson had been charged with second-degree murder.

Henderson now awaits sentencing. Manslaughter carries no minimum sentence but can result anything from probation to life imprisonment at a Judge’s discretion. Aggravated assault convictions, depending on severity, can result in up to ten years in prison.

 

 

 

 

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