Orangeburg man pleads guilty in child’s bear hug death

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — A Columbia man has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter after he was accused of giving a 14-month-old Orangeburg boy a bear hug so hard he stopped breathing.

The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg reports ( ) that 27-year-old Robert Kemp will be sentenced in June after entering his guilty plea Thursday. He faces up to five years in prison.

Prosecutors say Kemp was babysitting when the two started wrestling. Kemp gave the boy the bear hug, then put him into his crib for a nap.

Authorities say Kemp realized a short time later he hadn’t heard the boy move, went into his room and discovered him not breathing.

The Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office says Jaylen Harris died from asphyxiation in June 2013. Kemp was charged more than a year later.


Information from: The Times & Democrat,

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