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KC baby’s death ruled a homicide

The Jackson County medical examiner has ruled the March 13 death of a 5-month-old boy in Kansas City a homicide.

Prosecutors had already charged the victim’s grandmother’s boyfriend, Keith L. Nelson, 42, with first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child in March after Zavion Dunmore died.

Prosecutors said in March that they would wait for complete autopsy results before pursuing murder charges, which they now plan to do.

Police were called to an apartment in the 6000 block of Blue Hills Road after Zavion stopped breathing. Nelson told police he was the boy’s sole caretaker and he was watching the baby while the mother was at work. Nelson gave several different stories about how the boy suffered head trauma, authorities said. Court records show Nelson was previously sentenced to four years in prison in connection with the death of his 9-week-old daughter in 1997. The baby’s mother was sentenced to 20 years in prison for abusing the girl. Nelson was prosecuted for knowing about the abuse, but failing to stop it, according to media reports at the time.

Christine Vendel, cvendel@kcstar.com

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