Kentucky man sentenced to 50 years for murder of girlfriend’s 4-year-old daughter

A 27-year-old man in Kentucky has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. He received this sentence for his involvement in the death of his girlfriend’s young daughter. The tragic incident occurred in December 2020 when Dakota Hugh Hill killed Serenity Ann McKinney, stuffed her body in a suitcase, and abandoned it in the woods. Hill’s girlfriend, Catherine Abigail McKinney, pleaded guilty to charges related to the crime and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. The sentencing was announced by Bullitt County Circuit Court Judge Rodney D. Burress.

Dakota Hugh Hill, 27, has been sentenced for the murder of 4-year-old Serenity Ann McKinney. The young girl was last seen alive on Christmas Eve of 2020. Hill was dating Serenity’s mother, Catherine Abigail McKinney, at the time of the crime. In April, McKinney pleaded guilty to manslaughter, abuse of a corpse, as well as tampering with physical evidence. Judge Burress sentenced her to 12 years in prison, contingent on her cooperation in testifying against Hill if his case went to trial.

Bullitt County Commonwealth Attorney Bailey Taylor expressed satisfaction with the sentence handed down by Judge Burress. He stated that 50 years is a significant period of time and believes it is appropriate given the circumstances. Taylor also mentioned that, according to state law, Hill would be eligible for parole after 20 years. However, he emphasized that the chances of Hill being granted parole are slim to none.

Serenity’s family reported her missing on Christmas Eve of 2020. Her stepmother, Aundria Wainscott, revealed that she and Serenity’s father last spoke to the little girl over the phone on Father’s Day in June 2021. Hill and McKinney were arrested in February 2022 and initially charged with custodial interference as authorities searched for Serenity. Tragically, the search came to a devastating end when Serenity’s decomposing body was discovered in a wooded area in West Point in February 2022. The body was found inside a suitcase filled with a sand-like substance.

An autopsy revealed that Serenity had multiple fractured bones, and her cause of death was determined to be a homicide. Toxicology testing showed no presence of alcohol or drugs in her system. Prior to his sentencing, Hill read a prepared statement in which he expressed remorse for his actions and the pain he caused Serenity’s family. However, Serenity’s grandmother, Melody Roller, stated that that no punishment would ever be enough for was done to her granddaughter.