Man tells police he killed baby daughter

Infant died `by accident' while in his care, he says

February 14, 2003|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

The West Baltimore man who told police his 2-month-old infant daughter was abducted by an unlicensed cab driver later confessed to homicide detectives that he "killed his daughter by accident," according to court documents.

Kenneth Lee Jenkins, 20, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of A'shia Monique Jenkins. He is expected to have a bail review hearing today at Central Booking and Intake Center, where he is being held without bond.

Jenkins initially told police -- and the child's mother, Lakeisha Ballou -- that A'shia was abducted by an unlicensed cab driver, or hack, who had pulled a gun on him and robbed him of $5 as Jenkins and his twin girls were on their way to meet Ballou.

However, after several interviews with detectives, Jenkins, of the 2500 block of Francis St., changed his story, court documents said.

Jenkins told police that A'shia started crying between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and that he placed the child on her stomach and gave her a pacifier, according to a statement of probable cause. A'shia continued crying, Jenkins told police, so he began "patting her on her buttocks," and later on her back.

The baby started sucking on her fingers and began to "quiet down," Jenkins said. He told authorities the child wanted to play but he didn't, and he fell asleep with his arm over her back, "killing her accidentally."

Jenkins said when he awakened Tuesday he found A'shia face down on the bed between two pillows, her faced "smushed," court papers said. He told police the girl was "cold to touch" and "not breathing," so he attempted to administer CPR.

He said he panicked when that didn't work because he knew police had an outstanding arrest warrant charging him with violation of probation.

In October 2001, Jenkins was convicted of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in an alleged carjacking. But the next September, probation officials reported that he was not seeing his probation agent, not attending school or working, and did not give his agent a correct address.

Jenkins told police he called Ballou, the child's mother, to begin establishing an alibi. Jenkins told police that after he asked Ballou to meet him at Edmondson and Fulton avenues, he put A'shia's body in a cardboard box, discarded the box in a green trash bin behind his home and placed a pink blanket over the box.

Then he walked to Pennsylvania Avenue and Laurens Street and called 911. He waited for 15 minutes and left before police arrived.

He walked to Edmondson and Fulton, where he met Ballou and told her the story about a hack driving away with A'shia in the car. Then, he walked to Lexington Street at Fulton Avenue, where he twice more telephoned police, court documents say.

Police said that after Jenkins acknowledged discarding the body, they searched through the trash bin near his home but found that it had been emptied by city sanitation crews.

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