• Memphis man charged with murder, whipped 6-year-old child to death with extension cord

    By: Alexa Lorenzo


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Memphis man was arrested for whipping his a 6-year-old child to death with an extension cord. 

    Now, he is being charges with first-degree murder. 

    Memphis police said Donald Rich, the child’s step-father, called 911 after the child “began to throw up and became unresponsive.”

    The incident happened Sept. 19 at a home in the 4200 block of Pine Hollow Drive in Whitehaven. 

    The child was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition and was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

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    Medical staff told police the injuries were both new and ones that had healed from previous incidents. 

    Rich admitted to whipping the child with a belt and extension cord. 

    Neighbors like Linda White were shocked to learn Rich admitted to whipping the child.

    “For someone to beat a six-year-old,” White said. “That’s crazy.”

    Timothy Thomas said he got home and 15 police cars surrounded his apartment complex.

    “It was so many police and crime scene,” Thomas said.  “I was like coming around the car, I’m like what’s going on.”

    When Thomas found out what happened just a couple doors down, he was heartbroken. 

    “I couldn’t even call that,” Thomas said. “What made him snap, and what happened? But a baby? That was uncalled for though.” 

    “I called the police one time,” White said. “But by the time police got there, he took off somewhere.”

    His bond was set at $275,000.

    Rich is now being charged with first-degree murder, according to Shelby County officials. 


    A previous version of this report said Rich had been charged with domestic violence. He was charged, but those charges have since been dropped.  

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