Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trial Begins in Death of 5-Month-Old Mother's Boyfriend Charged with Killing Infant in 2014

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trial Begins in Death of 5-Month-Old Mother's Boyfriend Charged with Killing Infant in 2014

Article excerpt

Julie Vojtash met Kenneth Reeves through an online dating site a month before she gave birth to her daughter Kamero.

They began dating a short time after that. She grew to trust him and allowed him to stay over at her Knoxville home, which she shared with her infant daughter and 4-year-old son, as well as her father, brother and sister.

She never knew that the year before, Reeves had been charged with beating his then-girlfriend's 4-year-old son. Or that on Sept. 10, 2014 -- while they were actively dating -- he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of that child.

Now Reeves, 31, of Mount Washington, is on trial for homicide in the death of Kamero, whose family called her Kami. The case, before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman, began Monday and is expected to last until next week.

Ms. Vojtash testified Monday that she occasionally would leave 5-month-old Kami in the same room with Reeves. She did that the night of Dec. 6, 2014, to go downstairs and make snacks for her son and two nieces. Kami had been asleep in her crib when Ms. Vojtash left their bedroom.

Minutes later, she heard what she described as a cry of discomfort, and she ran up the stairs. Reeves was standing at the foot of Kami's crib. When she asked what happened, she told the jurors, he said he didn't know.

Ms. Vojtash tried to comfort her daughter, whose voice was hoarse. She changed her diaper, rubbed a teething remedy on her gums, and, when those things didn't work, picked her up.

Kami's eyes "drifted." Her heart was racing, and her breathing was shallow. Then, "she went completely limp in my arms," Ms. Vojtash said as she cried on the stand.

Ms. Vojtash dialed 911 and called for her brother, who was trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, to help her.

Kami was rushed to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. …

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