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Donald Harris Jailed on Aggravated Child Abuse Charge; Investigation into Death of Three-Year-Old Continuing

5/16/2013

May 16, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Donald L. Harris remains jailed in lieu of $250,000 bond following his arrest Wednesday on a charge of aggravated child abuse stemming from the alleged treatment of his girlfriend’s now deceased three-year-old son.
          
Elijah Hunter died shortly after arriving at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital on April 26th.  An ambulance was called to the mother’s N. 12th Street residence after she reported that Elijah had stopped breathing.  Hospital staff reported observing numerous injuries on the child’s body, including bruising to his abdomen, chest, back, legs, arms, face and head.  During an investigative interview with Detective Selene Julia, Harris, 30, admitted to whipping the child multiple times with a belt and striking him with the same hand that was holding the belt.
          
The warrant against Harris was taken out on May 7th.  Police had been unable to find him until yesterday when an officer working an unrelated call on Litton Avenue spotted Harris and took him into custody.
          
The death investigation is continuing.  Detectives are awaiting the medical examiner’s autopsy findings and a determination of the cause of death.

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Donald L. Harris