Deputies: Man Squeezed Child to Death

Orangeburg County, SC (WLTX) - Orangeburg County deputies have arrested a man they say squeezed a child to death last year.

Robert Christian Kemp, 26, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Jaylen Harris.

Officers say on June 27th, 2013, they got a call of an unresponsive 14-month old boy at a home on Maxwell Place.

It was concluded that Jaylen died from asphyxiation.

According to the Associated Press, Kemp told deputies he was playing with Jaylen, who had been left in his care, when the boy started to rub his eyes like he was tired. He then put the toddler in his crib on his back with his bottle, according to an incident report.

He then went to the kitchen to do some chores and realized he hadn't heard the boy in a while. Kemp went back into the bedroom and noticed the toddler on his stomach, unconscious with his hands balled into fists, according to the report.

Jaylen did not respond to cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

After a year-long investigation, however, deputies determined that Kemp gave the victim a bear hug, squeezing the child so tightly that the boy stopped breathing.

Bond for Kemp was set at $10,000.

In a statement posted last year on a website called, the child's family described Jaylen as "the sweetest, happiest baby you would ever meet. He was a blessing and a joy to this family."


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