DAKOTA COUNTY, Minn. — The Dakota County Attorney's Office says 33-year-old Michael Herkal of Burnsville has been sentenced after he pleaded guilty to the second degree murder of his 13-day-old infant son on Aug. 12, 2018.
Herkal was sentenced by Judge Kathryn Messerich to over 24 years in prison.
Authorities say they initially responded to a medical call on Aug. 12, 2018 from Herkal's residence, after which they discovered his infant son not breathing and without a pulse.
After being taken to Children's Masonic Hospital, it was later determined that the infant had suffered from a skull fracture and bleeding in his brain. He died some time after.
Earlier in the day, the infant's mother told police that she had left her 13-day-old son with Herkal after having an argument.
In the time between the mother leaving her son, and police arriving to Herkal's residence, Herkal said that he had dropped his son on a coffee table during a diaper change, while also having slapped and shaken the baby, according to authorities.
Charges of felony assault and malicious punishment of a child were filed against Harkel on Aug. 14, 2018.
Authorities say after the infant died of his injuries, and after his autopsy was made available to the County Attorney, three more charges were filed on Aug. 23, 2018.