Parents charged with causing 4-year-old's death - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Parents charged with causing 4-year-old's death

Updated:
Courtney Shante Thompson (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center) Courtney Shante Thompson (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)
Antonio Guinyard (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center) Antonio Guinyard (Source: Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center)
RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

The parents of a developmentally disabled 4-year-old boy who was found dead Monday night have been charged in connection with his death.

According to a Richland County Sheriff's Department incident report, firefighters found the boy unresponsive around 6:30 Monday night at 104 Beaverbrook Road, which is near Fairfield Road in the Hollywood Hills subdivision.

The boy's father, 28-year-old Robert Antonio Guinyard, was charged with homicide by child abuse and unlawful conduct towards a child. His mother, 25-year-old Courtney Shante Thompson, faces the same charges.

Both were booked into the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center Tuesday after being arrested at Richland County Sheriff's Department Headquarters.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said the child died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and body.

The incident report states Columbia firefighters told responding deputies the boy was not responsive when they arrived and efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

Thompson was inside the home when deputies arrived. Investigators later found Guinyard hiding in a closet holding his two day old infant, according to the report.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said that after an investigation into what led to the death of the toddler, deputies concluded that Thompson and Guinyard were ultimately responsible for his death.

Lott said that prior to the death of the 4-year-old, five other children were with various family members. The newborn that was found with the victim's father was taken into protective custody.

Although deputies originally said the 4-year-old victim was autistic, a week later it was determined that was not the case.

"This is a horrific case of a mother and father killing their own flesh and blood," said Lott. "We've learned to reduce child auto fatalities through the use of seatbelts and child safety seats, we've learned about reducing child fatalities in cribs, we've also learned to reduce child fatalities when it comes to the toys they play with but one thing we've got to learn is how to handle stress when it comes to our children."

Lott says that parents or guardians who need help should reach out before the situation turns violent. Children's Trust of South Carolina works to prevent child abuse, neglect, and injuries whether through intent or unintentional, the sheriff said. Click here for more information or call 803-733-5430.

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