CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – The man charged in the death of a two-year-old boy in Christiansburg entered a guilty plea on Monday morning.
In court, McKenzie Hellman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and child abuse charges. He is currently serving life sentences for sex crime charges.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney said McKenzie Hellman’s story changed several times and that none of his stories aligned with the child’s injuries.
Initially, officials said Hellman claimed he was in a different room when the victim was playing with another toddler in the bedroom. He told authorities that the two were jumping on the toddler’s bed when the victim fell and hurt himself.
His story later changed, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney. Hellman later said that the two toddlers were fighting when the victim may have bumped into the dresser.
However, the other toddler told authorities that Hellman abused the victim and once at the hospital, authorities said it was clear the boy was abused.
The baby boy had more than two dozen blunt injuries to his body, bleeding around his brain and broken bones in his skull.
Hellman was convicted earlier this year for his role in sex crimes performed on the child.
While he already serves life sentences for those crimes, he now faces up to 45 additional years when he is sentenced next month.
Kayla Thomas, the victim’s mother, is currently serving a life sentence for charges related to sex crimes. She was not charged in connection with his death.
10 News has covered this case extensively. Read more from our coverage:
- Christiansburg man found guilty of sexually abusing girlfriend’s toddler son (Published March 15, 2021)
- Court date set for Christiansburg mother charged with making child porn, sexually assaulting her son (Published Aug. 20, 2020)
- Court date set for Christiansburg man accused of killing girlfriend’s toddler son (Published June 22, 2020)
- Christiansburg man accused of killing girlfriend’s toddler son indicted on 6 felony charges (Published Jan. 28, 2020)
- Hearing reveals alleged abuse New River Valley toddler faced before his death (Published Dec. 20, 2019)
- Christiansburg man accused of killing girlfriend’s toddler son deemed fit to stand trial (Published Oct. 25, 2019)
- Christiansburg mother charged in connection with toddler’s death expected to enter a plea (Published Oct. 16, 2019)
- Case continued for Christiansburg mother charged with sexually abusing her now-dead toddler (Published June 19, 2019)
- Mental evaluation ordered for Christiansburg man accused of killing his girlfriend’s toddler son (Published June. 3, 2019)
- Christiansburg man accused of killing toddler asks for sanity, competency evaluation (Published May 30, 2019)
- Christiansburg mother, boyfriend who police say sexually abused her 2-year-old son appear in court (Published Feb. 28, 2019)
- Boyfriend charged with murder, he and mother sexually abused 2-year-old, police say (Published Jan. 18, 2019)
- Mother of 2-year-old who died charged with making child porn, sexually assaulting children (Published Jan. 17, 2019)
- 2-year-old boy dies, Christiansburg man now faces child abuse charge (Published Jan. 14, 2019)