Case Update: 2-Month-Old Dawson McKinney’s Mother Enters Not Guilty Plea; Trial Date Set

Dawson McKinney
Dawson McKinney.

When two-month-old Dawson McKinney was rushed from his home in Meridian, Idaho to St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise on May 11 of this year, he was found to be suffering from severe head injuries, including bleeding on the brain, retinal injuries, and a skull fracture. 

Dawson’s mother, Danielle Radue, was arrested the same evening on suspicion of felony injury to a child. Dawson spent several days in the Pediatric ICU before tragically passing away in his daddy’s arms on the evening of Friday, May 15. 

After Dawson died, Danielle was rearrested on an additional charge of first-degree murder, and Ada County Magistrate Judge John Hawley set her bond at $1 million. If Danielle is convicted on the murder charge, she could face life in prison or the death penalty, although prosecutors have not yet announced if they will seek capital punishment.

Danielle Radue's booking photo/mugshot
Danielle Radue’s booking photo.
(Ada County Sheriff’s Office)

On Monday, August 3, Danielle Radue appeared in court via video from the Ada County Jail and entered a plea of not guilty to her charge of first-degree murder. Her trial is scheduled to begin on January 5, 2021 and is anticipated to last approximately ten days.

During Monday morning’s hearing, prosecutor Kai Wittwer told the court that during Dawson’s autopsy, it was found that the baby suffered a skull fracture and hemorrhaging in multiple areas of his brain. 

Also at the hearing, Danielle’s attorney, Edwina Elcox, petitioned Fourth District Judge Patrick Miller to lower her client’s bond from $1 million to $30,000, saying Danielle has a spot held at a local hospital to receive inpatient treatment for mental health issues. Ms. Elcox said that Ada County Jail cannot provide Danielle with the treatment she needs, but a lowered bond amount would allow her to seek appropriate treatment.

Judge Miller ruled that Danielle’s bond will remain at $1 million, saying that although Danielle herself is a low flight risk, the murder charge is the “overwhelming factor.”

Danielle’s next court hearing is a status conference scheduled for October 26.

Click here for my ongoing coverage of Dawson’s case.

Sources: Idaho Statesman, Facebook

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