PITTSBURGH -- A Knoxville man will stand trial on homicide charges after police said he fatally beat his girlfriend's 11-year-old son, a district judge ruled Friday.
Anthony Bush, 29, was ordered to stand trial on charges of criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of children connected to the Feb. 12 death of Donovan McKee.
During Friday's hearing, Detective Tim Rush testified that Bush told him, "I'm sorry. I'm a monster."
Deputy District Attorney Mark Tranquilli said Bush could face the death penalty.
"We have approximately six weeks to make that decision,” Tranquilli said. “During that time period, we will attempt to put in front of the district attorney all relevant information.”
Investigators said McKee endured nine hours of abuse before his mother returned to their apartment at the Rochelle Towers on Knox Avenue after work. Police said the woman found her son unresponsive and called police.
Police said Bush was watching Donovan and another child when he beat the boy with wooden sticks used for martial arts.
“I woke up angry,“ Bush told police. “I knew Donovan was going to be beaten, because he played a computer game last night instead of doing his homework. I hit him eight times…with a nunchuk stick. (I) hit him in the head and broke the stick on his head.”
Bush stated that he would take breaks, get new sticks and continue beating the child throughout the day, the complaint said.
At one point, police said Bush used a needle and thread to close a cut he'd caused on Donovan’s arm.
Public defender Lisa Middleman didn't say much in court on Friday.
“Any criminal case, there’s investigation and conversations with witnesses and their client, so it’s really too early for me to say what's disputed and what’s not disputed,” she said.
When asked about the 5-year-old who witnessed the beating death of his brother, Tranquilli revealed an emotional moment.
“His aunt indicated she made sure that he got to say goodbye to Donovan during the funeral, because she wanted him to be sure that she knew his brother was going to a better place,” Tranquilli said.