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Utah man ordered to trial for drug-related death of infant

First Published      Last Updated Jun 18 2014 04:34 pm

A Sandy man has been ordered to stand trial for the death of an 8-month-old in West Valley City death who was found to have a sedative in her system.

Gene Richins, 31, is charged in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony child abuse homicide.

Following a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Richins was ordered to stand trial on the charge.

Richins was caring for his girlfriend's infant daughter throughout the night before the girlfriend awoke the morning of Aug. 9 to find the child had died in her playpen, according to court documents.

The infant, identified as K.S. initially was found to have died from positional asphyxia while she was lying face-down in the playpen, police wrote. But after lab work was conducted, medical examiners determined that she could not shift her position because she was intoxicated on Trazodone, a prescription anti-depressant with sleep-inducing effects, which her mother took.

The mother said the Trazadone and her other prescriptions sedated her so heavily that Richins was entrusted with care of K.S. and his own infant daughter during the night, police wrote.

During the investigation, Richins "spontaneously" told police, "I only gave her 1.75 ml of Tylenol about 11:30," according to the charges. He also told detectives, without prompting, that he would never crush another drug to put in the Tylenol syringe, police wrote. He said he would never give Trazodone to a baby because "that would kill a baby."

Investigators found a half a Trazodone pill on top of the refrigerator, police wrote.

Richins is to return to court on July 18 for an arraignment hearing.