APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) — Michael Herkal, the Apple Valley man arrested on suspicion of harming his newborn, has been charged with second-degree murder.
Herkal, 32, was arrested Aug. 12 after it was revealed he caused severe harm to his 13-day-old son Anthony, resulting in his hospitalization and eventual death.
Herkal told investigators he was changing Anthony’s diaper that day when the baby wouldn’t stop kicking, so he squeezed him. He also said Anthony slipped out of his hands and fell onto a coffee table, causing the child to bruise.
After looking through Herkal’s phone for evidence, police found Google searches for “someone threw a baby on the floor,” “baby breathing hard,” “noisy baby breathing: what’s normal and what’s not,” among others.
Physicians said Anthony suffered a diffused brain injury as a result of trauma, coupled with a prolonged lack of oxygen. Anthony died from his injuries Aug. 14.
Herkal was charged with first-degree assault and malicious punishment of a child before the baby’s death.
Herkal’s next court hearing is Oct. 5.