Knoxville man sentenced to up to 47 years in prison for fatally beating his girlfriend's 11-year-old son
Touched by photos of a boy beaten to death, a judge on Monday scolded a Knoxville man for his viciousness before sentencing him to prison.
“I can't think of anything that's worse than this,” Allegheny County Common Pleas President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel told Anthony Bush before sentencing him to 23½ to 47 years in prison. “You inflicted a lifetime of hell when you beat that child over and over and over.”
A jury in February found Bush guilty of third-degree murder for savagely beating Donovan McKee, 11, over nine hours because the boy refused to vacuum the apartment.
Prosecutors said Bush used a metal pipe, barbells, belts and sticks to beat Donovan on Feb. 11, 2012, at the Rochelle Towers apartment Bush shared with Donovan's mother, Cynthia McKee, and his brother, Vincere, 5, who witnessed the beating.
McDaniel said she'll never forget seeing photos of the beaten boy. She praised Donovan's aunt, Crystal McKee, who is caring for Vincere.
Bush stitched a wound on Donovan's head after calling Cynthia McKee at work to ask where he could find a needle and thread, and then told her to come home, prosecutors said.
McKee arrived about 10 p.m. to find the boy naked and unresponsive on the couch, with blood in his nose and mouth.
The couple waited about an hour and 40 minutes to call 911.
McDaniel sentenced Cynthia McKee to five to 10 years in prison last month on an involuntary manslaughter charge for failing to get medical help for Donovan sooner.
“(Donovan) was totally innocent through this whole situation,” said Crystal McKee, who told McDaniel she was the last family member to see the boy alive at Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville.
Bush sat at the defense table slumped over with his head in his arms. His attorney, Lisa Middleman, asked for a lighter sentence because he accepted responsibility and was abused as a child.
“He was Donovan 20 years ago, except he didn't have anyone,” Middleman said. “He was the odd perfect storm of isolation and abuse.”
Adam Brandolph is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-391-0927 or email@example.com.