April 20, 2014

Elyria
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Man pleads not guilty in death of infant boy

ELYRIA — A Lorain man facing the possibility of the death penalty in connection with the killing of an 8-month-old boy left in his care hung his head low as a laundry list of charges were read during his arraignment Thursday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court.
Kevin Kimbrough, 24, held a crumpled piece of tissue tightly in his handcuffed hands and often wiped tears from his face as the indictment charging murder, aggravated murder, felonious assault and four counts of child endangering was read. Several of Kimbrough’s family members sat in the courtroom gallery and also quietly cried throughout the hearing.
Kimbrough said nothing as court-appointed attorney Michael J. Duff entered pleas of not guilty to all charges on behalf of his client.
The charges stem from allegations that Kimbrough caused the death of Jayden Davidson, a baby who died of severe head and brain injuries police suspect occurred while Kimbrough was babysitting him on June 26.
The boy’s brother, 2, also was in Kimbrough’s care that day. He, too, showed signs of abuse and was hospitalized after his brother’s death.
Kimbrough was not the children’s regular babysitter, but stepped in when asked by the children’s mother, Julie St. Clair, 20, of Lorain. St. Clair told police she left for work earlier in the morning, leaving her children with Kimbrough.
The indictment alleges Kimbrough “tortured or cruelly abused both children.” County Coroner Paul Matus said last month that he found evidence during the autopsy that Jayden had both new and old injuries. Police also have asaid the older child suffered injuries indicative of a long-term pattern of child abuse.
Duff, who met his client for the first time Thursday, said Kimbrough is holding up well and is proclaiming he is innocent.
“He said he didn’t do it,” Duff said following the hearing.
Kimbrough was being held without bond in the Lorain County Jail. A pretrial hearing has been set for later this month at which time Duff said he would once again bring up the issue of bond with prosecuting attorneys.
County Prosecutor Dennis Will previously said prosecutors sought the death penalty because the evidence pointed to Kimbrough deliberately killing the baby. Because the child was younger than 13, the incident qualified under Ohio law for the possibility of the death penalty as punishment.
Kimbrough pleaded no contest in court Wednesday to an unrelated theft charge for stealing a PlayStation 2. He was sentenced to one year good behavior, fined $250 and given 27 days in the county jail, which he already has served. The fine and an additional 57 days in jail were suspended.
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.

072707kimbrough.jpg CHUCK HUMEL / CHRONICLE
Kevin Kimbrough, accused of killing 8-month-old Jayden Davidson, wipes away tears during his arraignment in Lorain County Common Pleas Court on Thursday.
ct_video1.jpg See footage Kevin Kimbrough’s arraignment.