A 21-year-old Red Wing man first tried to blame the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter on her choking on a chicken nugget but later tearfully admitted to shaking the toddler, according to charges.
Adam M.P. Travis was charged this week in Goodhue County District Court with first-degree manslaughter and four other felony counts in connection with the girl’s death last week at a home in the 100 block of E. 3rd Street in Red Wing.
Services for Lylah Grace Koob are scheduled for noon Saturday at the Mahn Family Funeral Home in Red Wing. Survivors include her mother, Kayla Berentsen; her father, Timothy Koob, three siblings and two half-siblings.
Travis remains jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail. A message was left with his attorney seeking a response to the allegations.
According to the criminal complaint:
Police were called on Nov. 28 about a child choking at the home, and officers arrived to find Travis outside, crying and screaming uncontrollably. With him were a young woman and a teenage boy who was in the home playing video games with Travis at the time.
Travis said he was watching the children while their 25-year-old mother was at work.
Travis told an officer that Lylah “was eating chicken nuggets and began to choke,” the charges read. He said he attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation to free the food.
After the girl vomited, he continued, he called 911. The teenager told police that Travis waited 5 to 10 minutes before calling for help.
An initial examination at a Rochester hospital revealed that Lylah had suffered “significant brain injury,” the charges read.
The girl was declared dead the next evening, and the medical examiner reported finding injuries consistent with her being shaken, pushed or struck.
The medical examiner said “the piece of chicken nugget may have been placed inside the mouth of [the girl] after she was injured to give the appearance that she was choking,” the charges continued.
Under police questioning, Travis offered various versions of events before he began to cry, dropped his head on the table in the interview room and said, “My girlfriend’s going to call me a murderer,” the complaint quoted him as saying.
Travis went on to admit he shook Lylah and regretted doing so. He then used a doll to demonstrate his action with two shakes and said, “I didn’t try to kill her,” read the charges, which did not discuss a motive.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482