LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The I-Team has learned that a young father is accused of murdering his 4-month-old son and the baby’s mother faces charges of allowing the alleged abuse to continue.
Mykeal Rangel, 20, is charged with first-degree murder for the death of his son, Levi Rangel. Mykeal Rangel also faces charges of child abuse and neglect and allowing child abuse or neglect with substantial bodily harm.
According to the Clark County Coroner’s Office, Levi Rangel died on Sept. 16. His cause of death is listed as abusive head trauma. The coroner ruled his manner of death as homicide.
Levi’s mother, Brooke Lehman, faces two counts of allowing child abuse or neglect with substantial bodily harm, court documents said. Both parents appeared in court Monday.
“[Mykeal Rangel] admitted to squeezing the child,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle Jobe said in court. “He admitted to becoming severely frustrated with the child. He admitted to shaking the child on multiple occasions. So the proof is evident and the presumption is great that this defendant committed murder.”
Levi Rangel also had several rib fractures, Jobe said.
A child welfare agency form dated Friday said Levi Rangel was brought to a fire station in an unresponsive state.
“The child was transported to a local hospital where medical assessment deemed him to be in critical condition,” the report said. “A concern was noted that there was no explanation as to the child’s condition. At the time of the report, arrangements were in progress to transport the child to another hospital for specialized treatment.”
The 4-month-old had suffered what the agency refers to as a near-fatal incident just a week before. The Clark County Department of Family Services has no prior history with the child or family.
In court Monday, prosecutors said Lehman had plenty of warning to stop the alleged abuse, citing her knowledge in text messages. “She wouldn’t intervene,” Jobe said. “She wouldn’t do anything on behalf of this child, which is part of the reason that this child is dead.”
Attorneys for Rangel and Lehman said they both have lived in Las Vegas their entire lives and that there is not enough evidence to presume guilt.
Rangel was being held Tuesday without bail. A judge set Lehman’s bail at $25,000. She was released on bond. Both are due in court again in October.
The I-Team filed a public records request with Metro police last week. The requested documents had not been provided as of Tuesday