Keith Kennedy-McLeod

Keith Kennedy-McLeod (source: Louisville Metro Corrections)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A West Virginia man is facing charges of assault and criminal abuse after a 3-year-old boy with third-degree burns and head trauma died at a Louisville hospital last last month.

According to court documents, officers with the Jeffersontown Police Department were called to an area hospital on Nov. 23 after the 3-year-old was brought to the hospital with third-degree burns on his feet, legs, buttock and genitals.

That 3-year-old has been identified as Rasir Jameir Oliver by the Jefferson County Coroner's Office.

Police say the burns were consistent with sitting in a hot bathtub.

Police say there were fingernail marks around Oliver's hip area that were in various degrees of healing.

Healthcare workers who examined Oliver also discovered that he had suffered from head trauma that included bruising and cranial swelling that required surgery, according to court documents. 

Police say doctors told them that injury could not have been caused by falling in the bathtub, and was consistent with being shaken.

The child was taken to surgery to relieve the swelling on his brain, and was eventually placed on life support, but according to police, did not recover. He remained in a coma for weeks, and was eventually taken off life support. He died on Dec. 28, according to Anthony Wight, the deputy coroner of the Jefferson County Coroners Office. 

Police arrested Keith Kennedy-McLeod, the boyfriend of Oliver's mother, on Wednesday. According to the police, he initially told officers the boy was burned when he turned on the water for the bathtub and got in himself.

But police say Kennedy-McLeod admitted to shaking the child, and was the primary person who gave the boy baths.

Oliver's mother said the child did not have any injuries before she left him in Kennedy-McLeod's care at a hotel when she was on her way to work.

Kennedy-McLeod is currently charged with first-degree assault and first-degree criminal abuse. Chief Sanders says it's not clear yet if more charges will be forthcoming.

He is currently being held in Louisville Metro Corrections.

Chief Sanders says cases such as this one can be emotionally tolling for officers.

"The trauma this takes upon an officer is something we really talk about, but it is something that's difficult," Chief Sanders said. "These officers will continue to do their job and try not to think about those things -- but you have to think about them. When you get home at night and see your own children, it just breaks your heart that things like this happens to children."

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