Yves McKinnie was sentenced Friday, Dec. 9 to 12 years in prison for beating his toddler to death in January 2011.
On the day of the sentencing, fourteen pews at the courthouse were full of family and friends of McKinnie and Natisha Carson, the child’s mother. Carson was one of the few people in the audience who wore a shirt commemorating Trinitee Carson, the 18-month-old who was beaten to death by McKinnie. Phrases like, “until we meet again” and “I love you” and a picture of Trinitee were painted onto Carson’s shirt.
McKinnie was brought out in shackles to receive his sentencing. He was ultimately charged with second degree reckless homicide and was given a 12-year prison sentencing and eight years of extended supervision. The maximum sentencing for crimes of this nature is 15 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision.
On Jan. 14 of this year, Carson dropped off her daughter at McKinnie’s residence so he could watch her for a few days. He extended the stay because he wanted to take Trinitee to Chicago for a modeling opportunity.
Meanwhile, on Jan. 21, according to McKinnie, he struck Trinitee with an open palm so hard that he knocked her off her feet and she flew onto the floor, hitting her head on either the bedpost or the floor. He then threw her on the bed, where she lay limp. He called 911 and was given CPR instructions. After four days of being life support, Trinitee passed away.
McKinnie said that he struck his 18-month old after she wouldn’t go to bed. He showered and Trinitee was still running around when he came out. He grabbed her by the arm and hit her.
The autopsy said that the toddler died from multiple blunt force injuries. She had bruises on her thorax, abdomen, buttocks, right shoulder, and back region. Her ultimate cause of death was from brain injuries (acute subdural hematoma) from the impact of hitting the floor or bedpost.
McKinnie said that he accidentally dropped Trinitee on the floor after she was unresponsive as he was running through the house with her in his arms. He blamed her abdominal injuries on the impact of his knee hitting her as he fell on her.
“I felt and still feel terrible,” said McKinnie during his statement. “She was just a toddler being a toddler.”
McKinnie described how he called 911 and gave Trinitee 30 compressions and two breaths in attempt to save her life. She began breathing again until help arrived at the scene.
Carson’s mother, Tracye Carson said, “I feel like he was beating my grandbaby all along. But he went too far this time.” She choked back tears. She described how Trinitee was always good about bedtime and she doesn’t believe McKinnie that her granddaughter was acting out. She said McKinnie could have called her or Natisha if he was overwhelmed. Tracye requested that McKinnie would be given the maximum sentencing for his crime.
Marcus Glass, Carson’s fiancé, said that he has an 18-month old daughter and he adores her. “I worship the ground she walks on. I would never imagine coming to a point…” he couldn’t finish his sentence. Glass then described the sadness that fills Carson when she sees his daughter and she imagines her own. “Fifteen years is nothing. She would’ve been 17.” Glass demanded that McKinnie be given the full 15-year sentencing.
“Nothing will fill the void,” Carson said as she wept. “Where is the justice?” she asked. After her statement, Carson left the courtroom, weeping hysterically.
Gregory Rothstein proposed that McKinnie had mitigating factors for the crime. He has no prior record and he took responsibility by pleading guilty.
Vicque Finney is McKinnie’s oldest cousin. He said that McKinnie is remorseful for what happened with Trinitee.
Sylvia McKinnie, the mother of Yves, apologized for her son. She said that she doesn’t believe that the homicide was intentional. “My son…is a good and decent young man,” she commented.
Judge Rebecca Dallet said, “Trinitee was only 18-months old. She was at the mercy of those who took care of her.”
Nine police officers lined the back wall before audience members were released after the trial.
Along with the prison sentencing and the extended supervision that McKinnie was given, he is required to complete an anger management course, do an AODA assessment and comply with treatment, maintain a full-time employment or attend school, and he can have no unsupervised contact with children under 18-year old without a parole agent’s permission. He also has to pay a $1,548 fee to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.