Man charged with felony child abuse

Published 1:45 am Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Pearl River County man has been charged with the felony child abuse of his girlfriend’s two year-old son.

The child was listed in critical or life threatening condition and was in the care of University Medical in Jackson.

Pearl River County Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the department received a call on Wednesday from the Department of Human Services that the two year-old child was being held at the hospital in Jackson and suffering from a build up of blood within the cranial cavity, brought on by a trauma suffered the day before while he was in the sole care of 30 year-old Raymond Richardson, of 196 Whitesand Rd., Poplarville. Tucker said the child had to undergo brain surgery to relieve the swelling caused by the trauma.

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Investigators Christa Groom and Lance Spiers investigated the complaint and met with a forensic child abuse specialist, who is also a doctor, at the hospital where the doctor told the investigators that the injury the child suffered could have occurred only a very short time prior to being brought to the hospital, Tucker said. Information gathered from the doctor and interviews with other people involved with the incident discovered that the mother of the child went to work that day and left the child in Richardson’s care, the chief deputy said.

Based on the evidence collected and discussions with the forensic child abuse specialist, Tucker said it appears that the child suffered the injury from a combination of shaking and striking. A warrant was applied for Friday morning and approved, and early Friday afternoon the investigators went and picked up Richardson from his home without incident, Tucker said. Richardson is charged with felony child abuse and is being held in the Pearl River County jail, he said. Tucker said Justice Court Judge John Mark Mitchell set bond at $1 million.