Photo of Michael Merkal next to photo of Anthony Merkal in hospital
Michael Merkal has been jailed for 24 years for murdering his 13 day-old son Anthony – then trying to blame the infant’s death on his toddler son (Pictures: CBS Minnesota/GoFundMe)

A dad who murdered his 13 year-old son then tried to blame his toddler has been jailed for 24 years.

Michael Anthony Herkal, 33, admitted the August 2018 murder of the newborn, also called Anthony, at a court hearing in Minneapolis Wednesday.

Herkal admitted slapping and violently shaking Anthony to death after initially concocting a pack of lies which saw him claim his older son had pulled Anthony off the sofa twice, injuring him.

The youngster suffered a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. Paramedics called to the scene found baby Anthony blue and unresponsive.

He died two days after being rushed to hospital.

Photo of Anthony Merkal
Anthony died of a fractured skull and brain bleed in August 2018, with his father sentenced to jail on Wednesday (Picture: GoFundMe)

Herkal went on to change his version of events to claim that Anthony had slipped out of his hands and fallen onto a coffee table while he was changing him.


He made multiple Google searches 80 minutes before calling 911, including ‘someone threw a baby on the floor,’ ‘baby breathing hard’, ‘noisy baby breathing: what’s normal and what’s not’ and ‘baby’s butt is blue sanking’ (spanking).

Herkal murdered Anthony shortly after he and his girlfriend had an argument, and the girlfriend left baby Anthony in his care, CBS Minnesota reported.

He proceeded to text the unnamed mother telling her that Anthony was crying, and that he needed her.

Herkal was convicted of second-degree murder, as well as malicious punishment of a child.

The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported that Herkal has a lengthy history of domestic abuse against Anthony’s mother.

He breached a protection order banning him from contacting her four times during 2016 and 2017, and spent less than four months in jail for those offenses.