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Wisconsin Man Allegedly Punched Infant To Death In His Mother’s Arms

Kenta Evans got into an argument with the child’s mother, Jessica McNeal, before he delivered the fatal blows, police say.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

A Wisconsin man is facing a reckless homicide charge after allegedly punching an infant with enough force to kill the child.

Kenta Evans, a 21-year-old Milwaukee resident, is believed to have traveled to the home of Jessica McNeal early Wednesday to visit 2-month-old Jaquerrion Dancer, a child who was possibly his son, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, citing a criminal complaint. Evans and McNeal began arguing when Evans accused the child’s mother of having other men in the home. The argument turned physical when McNeal ran to the bedroom, picked up Dancer, and asked Evans to leave; he allegedly began punching McNeal, who had the child in her arms, repeatedly, the outlet reports.

McNeal’s sister then ran into the room and attempted to put an end to the violence, grabbing Dancer from his mother, the criminal complaint states. Once she noticed the child had blood coming out of his mouth, she drove him to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with numerous injuries, including skull fractures and cerebral and retinal hemorrhaging, the paper reports.

Dancer, whose scalp had swelled, succumbed to his injuries around 9 p.m. that night, Fox 6 News reports, citing the complaint. Following a post-mortem examination, a medical examiner reached the preliminary conclusion that the child’s death was a homicide, according to the outlet.

Kenta Evans

Evans had earlier fled the home after McNeal threatened to call the police, but authorities found him hiding inside a closet at his mother’s house, Fox 6 News reports. He later allegedly admitted to police that he’d gotten into an “altercation” with McNeal and at some point tried to take the child out of her arms; when she did not let go, he grew frustrated and began punching her. After seeing the child’s injuries, he allegedly admitted to having caused the wounds by striking the child multiple times with a closed fist.

During Evans’ first court appearance on Monday, a judge set his cash bond at $20,000, according to Fox 6. He is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing on June 20.

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