Man pleads guilty to child abuse homicide in death of 8-month-old girl

Posted at 5:57 PM, Dec 11, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused in connection with the death of an 8-month-old child has pleaded guilty to child abuse homicide as a second-degree felony as part of plea deal that could result in him not receiving prison time, according to a court document filed Thursday.

According to a court document, Gene Rick Richins pleaded guilty to the charge of child abuse homicide, a crime that carries a penalty of between 1 and 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

The child died in August of 2013, and earlier this year West Valley City police stated the man was involved in the death.Police stated that Richins was caring for the child, a daughter of Amanda Faulkner, as well as his own infant daughter. The man regularly provided care for both children.

Richins allegedly got up at about 11:30 p.m. as the victim was crying, and he gave the child a bottle with a infant tylenol and “a small portion of a Trazadone pill.”

The man then put the child into a sleeper crib, and the document states, “[Richins] knew the Trazadone was a prescription sedative, and knew it could have posed a risk to [the victim] at the time.”

The document states that as part of the plea agreement, the state has agreed to recommend no prison for the man at sentencing, although they will recommend suspended terms.

Richins was also arrested in February after he allegedly robbed a jewelry store but got trapped inside. The alleged crime was caught on camera, click here for details.