PORTLAND, Oregon — A man accused of murdering his girlfriend’s two-year-old son acknowledged vocal supporters in court Wednesday, August 31st by waving and making a heart shape with his hands.
Taylor Lynn Kraig, 20, was arraigned in court on charges of murder, first-degree criminal mistreatment and third-degree assault.
He pleaded not guilty.
The investigation began when homicide detectives were called out to assist the Child Abuse Team at Portland Adventist Medical Center on August 15th.
A two-year-old boy, Zackariah Luda Daugherty, was suffering from traumatic injuries. He was taken to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital where he died early the morning of August 16th.
The medical examiner conducted an autopsy and determined Zackariah died of homicidal violence.
Detectives interviewed his mother and her boyfriend, leading to Kraig’s arrest on August 16th.
Additional details surrounding the boy’s death have not been released.
Supporters of Kraig made their voices heard during his arraignment Wednesday, calling out “be strong” and “we love you Taylor.”
Those supporters declined to comment outside the courtroom following the arraignment.
Stephanie Niedermeier told FOX 12 she used to live with Kraig, Zackariah and his mother at their apartment in southeast Portland, but she moved out in July. She previously described incidents of Kraig screaming at the child and she was disappointed in the support for the suspect in court Wednesday.
“It seemed like the whole entire courtroom was in favor of Taylor, which is unfair and wrong,” Niedermeier said.
A trial date was set in this case for October 11th.