MIAMI, Okla. – An Ottawa County judge ruled a Missouri man will stand trial in the death of his former girlfriend’s 15-month-old daughter, court officials said Friday.
Travis Gerald Steed, 31, of Seligman, Mo, is charged in Ottawa County District Court in Miami with first-degree murder in the Feb. 26, 2006 death of McKenna Jayde White.
McKenna was in Steed’s when she died at a Miami motel. She had several blunt-force trauma impacts to her face and head, and she had a 5-inch skull fracture, a medical examiner's report stated.
District Attorney Eddie Wyant amended the charges causing the need for a second preliminary hearing. Steed was also held over for trial after the first preliminary hearing in 2006.
Wyant said in an earlier interview the amended charge allows a jury to convict Steed of murder for either affecting the death of White by using unreasonable force or by simply permitting the use of unreasonable force upon her which resulted in her death.
Catherine Jean White, 30, of Goodman, Mo., the toddler’s mother, testified in both preliminary hearings. She is also charged with child neglect for her part in the child’s death.
White confessed to authorities she and Steed had used methamphetamine, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Steed is to return to court on Monday when a trial date will be set. .