2010-02-11 / Front Page

Additional Charges Filed Against McKee

Counts upgraded to include seconddegree murder, manslaughter


The Washington County Sheriff’s Department has filed additional charges against a Warfordsburg area man accused of causing internal injuries that would eventually lead to the death of his infant daughter.

In addition to the original counts of first-degree assault and first-degree child abuse, 22- year-old Nicholas Ray McKee of 453 Flickerville Road now faces one count each of second-degree murder and manslaughter, according to paperwork filed last Thursday by investigators with the Sheriff’s Department.

The allegations against McKee stem from an incident that occurred at 139 Washington Street, Hancock, on Sunday, January 3. Emergency personnel were dispatched to the residence in response to a child suffering cardiac arrest.

At the time of the reported assault, McKee was staying at the Maryland address with his 5-week-old daughter Bella Evangeline Appel-McKee and the baby’s mother, Jordan Appel. The baby was in McKee’s care at the time of the incident, and the injuries sustained by the baby are consistent with “non-accidental trauma,” the sheriff’s department initially reported.

Court documents filed in connection with the case allege the infant suffered brain injuries indicative of “trauma” and “vigorous shaking.” The tests and medical assessment were completed by the Freddie MAC Foundation Child and Adolescent Protection Center located at the Children’s National Medical Center.

McKee contended in interviews with police his daughter had been wheezing. Her lips had also turned blue, and furthermore her legs went limp while he was changing her diaper, court documents further state. McKee reportedly panicked, he told police, and pushed on both her stomach and forehead before flipping her back and forth between her belly and back.

The baby was pronounced dead at Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C., on January 9 one day following McKee’s arrest. The infant’s injuries are allegedly consistent with “vigorous shaking,” court documents said.

McKee was previously being held in the Washington County Detention Center but has remained free since posting $150,000 bond on January 18. He voluntarily turned himself last Thursday morning and is again being held in the Detention Center. Bail is currently set at $600,000.

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