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Thursday, 18 July 2019 10:50

Whitehaven Man Indicted in Boy’s Death

July 18, 2019 – A Whitehaven man was indicted Wednesday on first-degree murder charges in the death of his girlfriend’s 6-year-old son who died last year from blunt-force trauma, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
A grand jury indicted Donald Rich, 38, on murder in the perpetration of aggravated child abuse and aggravated child neglect. He is being held on $500,000 bond.
On Sept. 19, 2018, police were called to an apartment in the 4200 block of Pinehollow near Millbranch and Raines where they found Rafael Smith in an ambulance. He was unresponsive and had multiple injuries.
The boy was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Medical personnel noted numerous injuries, both old and new, on the boy, including some that were consistent with being whipped with an extension cord. The boy’s death was ruled a homicide due to blunt-force trauma, with an extensive history of physical abuse and injuries in various stages of healing.
Rich was arrested and gave police a statement.
The case is being handled by Chief Prosecutor Eric Christensen and Asst. Dist. Atty. Devon Lepeard of the DA’s Special Victims Unit which prosecutes cases of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse of child victims; rape and aggravated rape of adult victims, and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults.
SVU reviews child-victim cases with Shelby County’s multi-agency Child Protection Investigative Team.