Stepfather Found Guilty In Shaken Baby Case

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Jurors found a 24-year-old man guilty of causing the injuries that led to the death of his young stepson.

The 12-member jury in the case of Tylar Hokanson resumed deliberations at 9 a.m. Thursday in Hastings, Minn. By noon, they had reached their verdict and found Hokanson guilty on four counts of murder.

Shortly after, he was sentenced by a judge to life in prison for repeatedly shaking the 17-month-old boy and refusing to get him medical treatment back in June 2009.

Prosecutors said that Hokanson shook his stepson, causing bleeding in his brain, a broken back, blunt force trauma and other injuries. The little boy, Nicholas Miller, died several days later at a relative’s house in Pierce County, Wis.

“Nicholas Miller suffered horrific injuries through actions of his stepfather,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom in a statement. “We are pleased to have brought Tylar Hokanson to justice for this violent crime.”

In all, the trial lasted two and a half weeks, with jury deliberations lasting 31 hours.

Nicholas Miller’s death outraged so many, including complete strangers.

“I felt very emotional that it was over,” said September Lukic of Shoreview. “There is something in Nicholas’ picture, he is one of the most beautiful children I have ever seen. He looks like an angel.”

Lukic never knew Nicholas, but as a mother and stepmother, she says his obituary spoke to her. She started a Facebook page to offer Nicholas a voice. It climbed past 1,600 supporters on Thursday. People who have written from countries as far as Finland and the Ukraine have demanded justice for the boy.

  • Rich G

    Lets hope the jury is trying to find a way to give this human piece of waste the death penalty… I know we don’t have it in MN but for cases like this they should make an exception….. Lets just hope that they are trying to find a way that he never sees the light of day ever again… He should get a warm reception his first week in prison..

  • AMAP

    They are trying to figure out who realy killed this poor child. He did not die from shaking. Someone savagely beat him Hokanson had no opportunity to do that.

    • Sheri

      Well the 12 member jury reviewed the facts,and believe he is responsible for the babies death.

      To savagely beat this baby,would have had evidence pointing to that.The beleeding in the brain clearly points that someone shook this child violently,and also causing his back to break is also evidence he was shaken violently.

      The jury was not there to figure out who was responsible,because the man responsible stood before them at court.That was there task,to weigh the evidence against him.

      All 12 jurors believed this man was responsible.

      Then to not seek medical help for this poor child in which he did not,also points to his guilt.

      The baby suffered big time.

    • ArLoStAfFoRd

      No Hokanson had every opportunity in the world to beat the child considering that the mother watched him beat and shake poor angle Nicholas

  • Neil

    Just look at this creep. Hard to believe he’s not guilty.

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