UPDATE: Marion County man now charged with first-degree murder in child abuse incident after 4-year-old boy dies

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Walter Richardson

UPDATE (3/9/2021 2:57 p.m.):

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — The Fairmont Police Department has released more information about an incident which left a 4-year-old boy dead as a result of abuse suffered while in the care of Walter Richardson, 33, of Fairmont.

In an updated criminal complaint with new charges for Richardson, officers with the Fairmont Police Department state that when they arrived on scene, they observed Richardson “with visible blood on his clothing.”

The 4-year-old boy, among his other injuries, had “lacerations to his lips and broken teeth,” and the child’s mother stated that the boy “was healthy and uninjured when she left for work,” according to the complaint.

The boy was left in the custody of Richardson, who is the mother’s boyfriend, at that time, officers said.

After waiving his Miranda rights, Richardson told officers that he and the 4-year-old boy “were alone at home after his[the boy’s] mother left for work”; Richardson told officers that “he then began wrestling with [the child] until he became injured,” according to the complaint.

Richardson “did not immediately call emergency services upon [the 4-year-old] becoming injured,” officers said, and when the boy was examined at the hospital, he had “in excess of 50 injuries,” to his body.

According to the press release, on March 6 it was determined that “the young child no longer had any neurological activity.”

Later, on March 8. “all bodily functions ceased,” and the boy was declared dead, at which point he was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Charleston for an autopsy, officers said.

On March 9 the previous charges of malicious wounding, child abuse resulting in injury and transferring/receiving stolen goods against Richardson were dismissed; Richardson is now charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death, according to the release.


UPDATE (3/9/21 2:03 p.m.):

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Walter Richardson is now charged with first-degree murder and death of a child by a parent or guardian by child abuse.

12 News has reached out to the Fairmont Police Department for new information in the case and is waiting to hear back.


UPDATE (3/8/2021 8:43 a.m.):

The boy injured in an abuse incident in Marion County is not expected to survive as a result of injuries officers say he incurred while in care of Walter Richardson, 33, of Fairmont.

According to officers with the Fairmont Police Department, the boy named in Richardson’s complaint has been listed as “condition severe” with “unsurvivable injuries.”

Officers said that when the victim dies, Richardson’s charges “will be upgraded and enhanced.”


ORIGINAL (3/5/2021 11:21 a.m.):

A child is on life support after police said he sustained abuse injuries from a man at a home in Fairmont.

On March 4, officers with the Fairmont Police Department responded to a call of an unresponsive boy who was “not breathing,” at a home at 1001 1/2 Green St. in Fairmont, according to a criminal complaint.

Upon arrival, EMS workers began rendering aid to the boy, but had to transport him to WVU Medicine Fairmont for treatment, officers said.

When the child arrived, “it was discovered that the juvenile had received several recent blunt force injuries to various parts of his body,” which included “bruising to the arms, bruising to the right hip, broken and missing teeth, and a shoe print shaped bruise to the right shoulder,” according to the complaint.

With the extensive injuries, he was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital, where “it was discovered that there were other severe internal injuries,” which resulted in the child needing “to be intubated,” officers said.

When officers spoke to the attending physician, they learned that the boy “was not responsive to light, touch, or other stimuli” and had “little to no apparent brain activity” resulting in the boy being “placed on a ventilator to sustain life,” according to the complaint.

As a result, Walter Richardson, 33, of Fairmont, was placed under arrest for the abuse the boy suffered due to the boy being “in the complete care, custody, and control” of Richardson when the incident occurred, officers said.

Upon a search of the home where the incident occurred, officers found a Diamondback “AR-15 style rifle,” which came back as stolen through NCIC, and when officers ran Richardson’s identification, they found that there “is an active protective order against him,” which prohibits him from being in possession of a firearm, according to the criminal complaint.

Richardson has been charged with child abuse resulting in serious injury, malicious wounding and receiving/transferring stolen goods. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail, with bail set at $500,012.

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