Original report from Mobile Broadcast news 4/24/13
It’s a question on many minds in the Weirton, West Virgina and Ohio Valley Areas. The case is 2 years old with one man being charged, and eventually all charges being dismissed. A grand Jury was convened in January to see if any other individuals would be charged, or if new charges would be filed against the original suspect. The grand jury found no reason to file additional charges, or charge anyone else.
The case has come back into the public’s eyes lately with facebook pages titled Justice for Khylii and Khylii’s Justice. An online petition has been set up to reopen the case, refile charges and bring justice for Khylii Keffer who sustained heavy trauma to her stomach on February 27, 2011.
According to Paramedic dispatch reports and records, on February 17. 2011 Paramedics arrived on scene at Khylii’s home at 5:57 Pm for a 3 year old that was lethargic, and turning blue. They were met on the front steps by Amber Coen (Khylii’s mom) who was carrying Khylii outside.
Khylii appeared unresponsive, her extremities were flacid and she showed no motor control, but when her name was called she would open her eyes and eventually would converse with her mom asking to play with her cell phone. Upon further examination by paramedics, the child exhibited signs of central cyanosis, her extremities were purple in color, and her skin was cold and very dry. Coen told medics that she came home from work tried to wake Khylii who was hard to wake up, and noticed she was turning blue. Khylii’s abdomen was distended, and rigid to palpatation. It was unknown if she was in pain as the child did not respond to pain stimulation. Her pulse was weak and her breathing was labored. Amber told medics that her daughter had vomitted once since 12:30 PM and had done nothing but sleep before she became sick. (Mrs. Cohen paramedic report saying that Weekley met medics at the door, she was inside with Khylii, medics treated inside briefly before transporting her to the hospital.)
However, when I spoke with Amber on the phone this past Monday, she mentioned that Paramedics had met her inside her home, and began treating the toddler before then taking her into the ambulance. (Mrs. Cohen maintains she left the kids in Mr. Weekley’s care, and doesn’t know if anyone else came over when she had left for work, and says that medics had met her inside the home and had treated Khylii ) Futhermore, while speaking with Mrs. Coen on the phone she told me she was at work on February 17, 2011 from noon until 5 pm, and said that she left Khylii at home in the care of her boyfriend at the time (now ex boyrfriend) Donald Weekley II. Mr. Weekley did text Amber at work mentioning Khylii had thrown up, and when she arrived home, claimed that Mr. Weekley met her at the door veyr concerned about the child. She also mentioned that earliier in the day Khylii was playing with her younger brother who administered a “power ranger” kick to the toddler’s stomach, but was fine when she left for work. When she arrived home she thought Khylii had the flu as the othe rkids in the home had recently been ill with the flu. (Khylii tested negative for the flu at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.)
Khylii was transported to Weirton Medical Center where according to records, Stat Medevac was Contacted within 10 minutes of Khylii’s arrival and she was flown to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh 30 minutes later for further treatment in the Pediatric Critical Care Unit.
It was determined that Khylii needed immediate surgery for a gastric perforation and septic shock. At the time, the type of injury was listed by Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh as non accidental Trauma. Child Protective Services was notified immediately. Upon opening Khylii up, Surgeons discovered a large laceration of her stomach. Surgeons were amazed by the shear length of the laceration. She had bruising on the upper aspect of her stomach. upon entering the peritoneal cavity they discovered 2 liters of brownish liquid w/ large food particles consistent with massive contamination and intraperitoneal soilage.
According to a report submitted to the Hancock County Prosecutor’s office by Megan M Whiteleather of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Dr. Rachaerl Berger M.D., (Child Advocate at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh) “the injury in a child of Khylii’s age is virtually always the result of significant trauma and is a life-threatening injury with mortality close to 50%.” Childresn’s Hospital was also told of the Power Ranger kick by Khylii’s brother as an explanation for the injury. Doctors stated that “it is highly unlikely that this was the cause of Khylii’s injury.”
Dr. Kelly Miller, M.D. (Surgical Director of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) stated that ” Khylii’s perforation was the largest she had seen in her career.” Dr. Miller also stated ” I can tell you unequivocally, this (a kick) would not cause a gastric perforation. The Trauma which would cause this is much more significant than a kick to the abdomen. This type of injury takes a tremendous amount of force.” Dr. Berger later concurred with Dr, Miller’s assesment to Meghan Whiteleather.
Whiteleather also noted in her report that dating back to February 2002 there had been 20 referalls to CPS regarding the Keffer kids. Of the 20, 2 were substantiated maltreatment findings. One in February 2002, and one in February 2011. The 2002 claim alleged Mr. Keffer had shook his other daughter, but the case was never pursued and subsequently dropped in July 2002. The additional unsubstantiated claims included: untreated diaper rashes, Amber allowing a man with a criminal record to be around the children, one of the daughter’s breaking an arm, lack of parental supervision, bruises on Khylii, Mr. Keffer cursing in front of the kids, the children being afraid of Mr. Weekley, Mr. Weekley slamming a child on the couch. and a documented report of Mr. Keffer being depressed and allegedly attempting suicide. (Mr. Keffer had confirmed to me that the depression was accurate)
Someone also told CPS that Mr. Weekley had put hot sauce on a bar of soap, and placed it in the mouths of Amber’s children to discipline them for saying “bad words.” (this allegation was confirmed by a video interview the Harmony house had done with one of the children. on Feb. 24, 2011.) In a further Harmony House video interview the young boy alleged his mother had choked him to the point of crying and throwing up. Mr.s Coen had denied the allegations and no further action was taken by CPS.
On February 22, 2011 CPS interviewed Amber and Donald Weekly II. It was discoverd that a domestic dispute became physical between Amber and Weekley resulting in her beinng choked to the point unconsiousness. (this report is substantiated by medical records from Weirton Medical Center) Mrs. Coen also told CPS that there was another incident of domestic violence in her home while the children were present and that Weekley left the home for the night. She did however let him back in after he threatened her according to this report. (Mrs. Coen Acknowledges there was only 1 case of abuse despite the CPS report)
On March 1, 2011 Donald Weekley was given a lie detector test by the West Virginia State Police. The results of the test showed that Weekley had been deceptive and “failed the test miserably.” When Mr. Weekley was asked by law enforcement to return to the station to provide a written statement, he refused and informed authorities that he lawyered up.
Weekley was indicted by a grand Jury on April 13, 2011 for allowing serious life threatening injury to occur to a child in violation of West Virginia
Shortly after getting a lawyer and failing the lie detector Weekly Left West Virginia. He was later arrested and picked up by US Marshalls in Bridgeville, Pa. He spent 44 days in the Allegheny County Jail awaiting Extradition back to West Virginia Code 61-8d-4.
During his trial the original judge had to be replaced due to illness. He orignially agreed to a Kennedy Plea of guilty, but quickly changed his mind and wanted a jury trial. Eventually the charges were dismissed without prejudice due to the replacement in Judges.
Young Khylii spent weeks in the hospital recovering from her injuries. Dr. Berger stated that when Khylii would be discharged, she would need speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and possible help eating. (Mrs. Coen has stated that Khylii fid not need any of the mentioned therapies and made a 100% recovery.)
A second Grand Jury was convened in January of 2013 to see if additional charges were warranted against Mr. Weekly .This Grand Jury did not suggest charges of any kind, and the case was dropped. During the same grand Jury Mike Keffer (Khylii’s dad) was indicted for Child neglect resulting in bodily injury resulting from an inicdent with his son opening a car door while the vehicle was in motion. Mr. Keffer did not have the child locks on. Mr. Keffer took a Kennedy plea resulting in Probation. No serious or lasting injuries occured to the child in question from the night of 11/29/2012
Mrs. Coen has told me via phone that she had taken and passed a lie detector as it pertained to the night of February 17 2011. She did offer providing those results to Mobile Broadcast news. I declined seeing the results as of this time.
So what really happened to Khylii Keffer on February 17, 2011? Children’s Hospithal of Pittsburgh doesn’t seem to believe children playing and a power ranger kick would cause these injuries. Mrs. Coen and Mr. Weekley both told me in phone interviews this week that another doctor during the 2nd grand jury testified that Khylii’s breakfast that morning of 3 mcdonald’s pancakes, 1 sausage link and orange juice could have caused the stomach to swll, and the acids in the juice could have caused a small tear in the stomach with the “power ranger kick” causing the full on tear resulting in one of the worst tears ever seen by a children’s hospital doctor. However this doctor maintained that the injury occured between 9:30 and 11:30 AM.
Mr. Weekley allegedly made a comment on this site claiming he wasn’t there at all and a babysitter is to blame for the injuries. Weekley has also told Local TV Station WTOV 9 that he was not present when the injuries occured.
2 years later there are still questions as to what really happened. A justice for Khylii rally has been planned for May 4th Outside the Weirton, Wv Municipal Plaza.