Man found guilty of child pornography charges; murder trial awaits

McKenzie Kyle Hellman faces charges of second-degree murder and child abuse in Montgomery...
McKenzie Kyle Hellman faces charges of second-degree murder and child abuse in Montgomery County Circuit Court.(MATT GENTRY, The Roanoke Times | The Roanoke Times, pool)
Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT
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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - A Montgomery County man is awaiting sentencing after being found guilty on five charges connected to the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.

During Monday’s trial, prosecutors showed three videos found on Kayla Thomas’s phone of McKenzie Hellman performing sex acts on and with her son. In testimony, an investigator read messages between Hellman and Thomas in which he asked her to perform sex acts, as well.

In a 42-minute recorded interview with police, Hellman said he told Thomas to do one of the sex acts because he wanted to see if it would arouse him. During the interview, Hellman said when he saw the images, he was disgusted. However, Hellman did admit to saving one screenshot from the videos Thomas took.

A jury voted unanimously Monday to convict Hellman, 27, of:

- Being an accessory to forceable sodomy of a child younger than 13

- Animate object sexual penetration with an object of a child younger than 13

- Producing child pornography

- Reproducing child pornography

- Possessing child pornography

The jury also recommended Hellman serve two life sentences and a total 45-year sentence for his charges. Hellman will be back for an official sentencing June 29.

Hellman will be given a separate trial for second-degree murder and child abuse. The date for the court to hear those charges has not been set.

Little Steven Meek II died in January 2019 from brutal blunt force trauma. His mother, Thomas, faces similar charges related to the little boy, but she is not being tried for the death. Thomas is scheduled for trial in June.

Click here to view previous stories related to this case.

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