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Boy dies from tub scalding; mother arrested

January 14, 1997

CINCINNATI (AP) _ A 12-year-old boy who police say was scalded in a tub for soiling his pants has died, prompting the arrest of his mother on charges she let him suffer for a day rather than call for help.

Matthew Richmond, who was mute and mentally disabled, died Monday at Shriners Burns Institute after nearly two weeks of painful treatments for third-degree burns over 75 percent of his body.

His nerve endings and much of his skin were burned off Jan. 1 when he was put in water heated to about 140 degrees, hospital officials said.

Police arrested Sharon Richmond an hour after the death, charging her with child endangerment.

Ms. Richmond’s live-in boyfriend, Richard Klein, is already indicted on charges of assault and child endangerment. Investigators say he was the one who put Matthew in the tub.

Rather than call for help, the couple rubbed the boy with skin cream and let him endure pain for a full day before the mother called for help, police said.

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