Cops: SC Man Hugged Baby to Death
Family friend charged with involuntary manslaughter
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2014 2:06 AM CDT
Updated Jul 17, 2014 4:33 AM CDT
Robert Christian Kemp was arrested on July 15 on a charge of involuntary manslaughter   (Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – A South Carolina man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly giving a 14-month-old boy a hug so tight it killed him. An arrest warrant states that Robert Christian Kemp, a 26-year-old described as a friend of the family, was looking after Jaylen Harris when he gave him "a bear hug, squeezing the victim so tight that the victim stopped breathing as a result, causing the toddler’s death," WBTW reports.

According to an incident report, Kemp told investigators that when the boy started rubbing his eyes like he was tired, he put him in his crib with a bottle and later found him unconscious. Another person in the home attempted CPR but the toddler could not be resuscitated. The coroner found that he had died from asphyxiation. Jaylen died on June 27 last year but Kemp was only arrested this week, and it's not clear why the investigation took more than a year, reports the AP. He faces up to five years in prison if found guilty.

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
dan6807
Jul 18, 2014 3:08 AM CDT
Hopefully the drugs are out his system now.
Ms_Angie
Jul 17, 2014 2:15 PM CDT
I am not a whiz in this, so I would like to ask the commenters. How much pressure would it take to cause a 14 month old baby to stop breathing? I tried to hug my daughter, an adult, until she said it hurt, but did not inhibit her ability to breath. Thank you.
fractal
Jul 17, 2014 1:08 PM CDT
If the guy is mentally deficient ENOUGH, I suppose this could happen... But I have worked with adults that had IQ's in the 50's and 60's. None of them would have hugged a child to death.