Four-month-old baby dies from head trauma, police accused parents of murder and abuse

baby dies from head trauma father arrested for murder
Source: Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Oct. 6 2021, Published 1:31 p.m. ET

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A 4-month-old boy died from head trauma in Las Vegas as police say the boy’s father shook him multiple times. That dad has been charged with his murder, authorities announced.

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According to authorities, Mykeal Rangel, 20, said he woke up in the early morning of Sept. 10 when his girlfriend, Brooke Lehman, 20, went to work.

He noticed his son, Levi Rangel, was struggling to eat, as Mykeal Rangel said Levi had gastroesophageal reflux disease, officials said.

At this point, Mykeal Rangel told cops he called Lehman and while on the phone, Levi took “one labored breath” and made a noise and then his head fell back, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

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Mykeal Rangel then ran out of the house with the baby and down the street towards a nearby fire station. He flagged down a van to take him the rest of the way, officials said.

Mykeal Rangel performed CPR on the baby the whole time, as firefighters assisted when they arrived at the station, police said.

Levi was taken to a local hospital, where he died six days later, officials said.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal said a doctor at the hospital stated the baby was “shaken and beaten to death” and had brain injuries that were similar to injuries from a major vehicle accident or a high-contact sports athlete.

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During his interviews with police, Mykeal Rangel kept switching the story he told investigators, according to the report. In the first interview, he told police he squeezed the baby “too hard” on two occasions.

After learning from police that Levi suffered from multiple brain bleeds and rib fractures, Mykeal Rangel said he could have caused the fractures when he squeezed him too hard.

Police talked with Mykeal Rangel again, and this time he claimed he shook the baby about a month earlier, but nothing since then.

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He would change that story again, as he admitted there were multiple times where he “wanted to hurt” the child, including on Sept. 10, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Mykeal Rangel added that he squeezed the baby seven or eight times and shook him two or three times, officials said.

In the end, police said Mykeal Rangel told them it was either himself or Lehman that killed Levi.

The Clark County coroner’s office stated his death was caused by abusive head trauma and ruined his death as a homicide.

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Mykeal Rangel was charged with murder, child abuse or neglect and allowing child abuse or neglect, officials said. Lehman was also charged with two counts of allowing child abuse or neglect, police said.

Rangel was booked into the Clark County Detention without bail and Lehman was released on $25,000 bail, authorities said.

A preliminary hearing on the case was set for Oct. 26.

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