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11:46 AM Sat, Jan. 19th

Kingman man charged with killing infant daughter to be held without bond

A judge ruled Thursday that a Kingman man charged with the shaking death of his 7-week-old daughter would remain in county jail without bond.

Steven Raymond Zuncs has been charged with first-degree murder and child abuse in the shaking death of his daughter in November.

He also has been charged with third-degree burglary and theft for breaking into cars at Cliff Findlay Honda on Stockton Hill Road in September.

On Nov.

15, paramedics responded to a Kingman apartment on Roosevelt Street and a report that an infant was not breathing.

The baby was taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center and later flown to a Phoenix hospital, where she died the next morning.

During a hearing Thursday in Mohave County Superior Court, Kingman police Sgt Rusty Cooper testified about his interview with Zuncs at Kingman Regional Medical Center and later at the police department.

Zuncs at first said the child fell off a couch, hitting her head, Cooper testified.

He said Zuncs then told officers the child woke up crying and that, unable to stop her crying, he tossed her onto the sofa.

Cooper testified that a Phoenix doctor as well as the Maricopa County medical examiner thought the injuries were consistent with an infant being severely shaken.

The infant also had bleeding on the brain and bruising on her abdomen.

An official autopsy report from Maricopa County still has not been released.

Preliminary evidence also showed that the baby had 60 puncture marks on her feet, Cooper testified.

Cooper also testified that Zuncs made comments to the baby's mother saying he wished the child was never born and that he had an anger problem.

Lake Havasu City attorney Vincent Iannone, who was recently appointed to handle Zuncs' case, cross-examined Cooper, asking whether Zuncs was upset about his daughter's condition.

Cooper said Zuncs looked angry, even smashing his fist against a wall.

Iannone tried to counter Cooper's testimony, saying Zuncs tried to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on the child and called a friend for help.

Iannone also said that no official medical report has been released and the doctor's opinion was only preliminary.

During a second round of questioning, Deputy Mohave County Attorney Derek Carlisle asked Cooper whether Zuncs ever called 911.

"No, he didn't call 911," Cooper said.

A friend called for an ambulance, Cooper said.

Carlisle argued the state has shown enough evidence that Zuncs at least abused the child even if first-degree murder couldn't be proven.

Iannone argued that statements Zuncs made about the baby were made in a heat of anger.

He repeated Zuncs' efforts to try and revive the baby.

"The state has not yet demonstrated the burden of proof," Iannone said.

Judge Steven Conn ordered that Zuncs remain in jail without bond, saying when the mother had left to go to work early in the day, the baby was uninjured.

The only other person who was with the child after that was Zuncs, Conn said.

Conn also cited inconsistent statements Zuncs made to the police.

"I'm convinced the statements the doctors made to police officers are consistent with baby shaking syndrome," Conn said.

Carlisle said he still has not decided whether to seek the death penalty against Zuncs for the murder charge.

If convicted, Zuncs could receive the death penalty, life in prison without parole or life with parole after 37 years.

For the child abuse charge, he could receive 12 to 26 years in prison if convicted.

Zuncs' next hearing for the murder charge is set for Jan.