Colleton County: Raniya Wright died from natural causes, no charges filed

Doctors say Wright suffered from a arteriovenous malformation in her brain which ruptured

WALTERBORO, S.C. (WOLO) — After grieving the loss of her daughter, Raniya, for three weeks, Ashley Wright and her family finally heard about what caused her untimely death.

“Raniya Wright died of natural causes. Second, there was no evidence of trauma on or inside the body of Raniya Wright that would indicate any fight in any magnitude contributed to her death,” said Solicitor Duffie Stone of the Fourteenth District.

Pathologists at MUSC say Raniya had an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) on the left back part of her brain.

Her condition led to headaches, which caused her to make seven doctors visits since 2017. She had gone to the doctor to address a headache thirteen days prior to her death.

Doctors say it was a rupture in the brain, not a fight in school, that led to her death.

“During the actual incident, there was no complaint of injury, there were no visible injuries, and it was not until ten minutes afterwards when she was moved to a different room that she started to experience headaches,” said Maj. Jason Chapman of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.

However, Ashley Wright and her attorney believe the rupture did not happen out of the blue.

They consulted a private investigator who told them a different story of what happened in the classroom that day.

Pizarro says that Raniya and another student had several altercations throughout the day, culminating with a physical scuffle, which law enforcement referred to as a five to ten second “slap flight”, in the classroom.

“Each punch to Raniya’s head made a loud sound. With Raniya’s head in a chokehold, Student 2 slung Raniya into an orange file cabinet, all the while hitting her in the head,” said Pizarro.

Even though no criminal charges will be filed in this case, Ashley Wright wants the district to prevent an incident like this from happening again.

“I miss my daughter. I’m not able to hold my daughter again and kiss her. I want to know the truth,” Wright said.

Wright’s attorney says that Raniya and the student whom she fought with had been on bad terms for two years, and alleges that the other student had a history of violence with teachers and other students.

In a press conference, Colleton County School District’s Superintendent Dr. Franklin Foster says the school staff acted appropriately according to protocol.

Foster also said that the student who got into the altercation with Raniya has been put into an alternative education program, and will not return to Forest Hills Elementary this semester.

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