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  Sep 2, 1999



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Toddler killed while watching WWF tape


Toddler killed while watching WWF tape

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (AP) -- Authorities are trying to determine whether a wrestling videotape played a role in the death of a 15-month-old they say was struck and kicked off a bed by a 4-year-old boy.

Ramone Francois King died Sunday at a Macon hospital from a skull fracture he received the previous day.

A 24-year-old baby-sitter, caring for the two boys and five other children, left the house for a few minutes and inserted a videotape of a WrestleMania pro wrestling event into the VCR to entertain them, Houston County sheriff's Capt. Jerry Stewart said.

"What we don't know is if this 4-year-old was acting out some of the stuff he'd seen on this wrestling tape or what," Stewart said.

The 4-year-old admitted he struck the child but told authorities he was only killing roaches he saw on the toddler, Stewart said today. Other children who were present, whose ages ranged up to 9, disputed that claim and said the boy appeared to be imitating the video, he said.

"Some of the blows were with his feet, and some of the blows were with a hard plastic toy," Stewart said.

Stewart said the 4-year-old either kicked or threw Ramone off the bed, which fractured his skull. An autopsy report Tuesday showed that the toddler also suffered liver damage from the blows.

The case remains under investigation. The baby-sitter is not likely to face charges in the death, Stewart said.

As for the 4-year-old, "Obviously, you can't charge someone that young, but we're going to be talking with the juvenile judge here and the district attorney's office," Stewart said.

"Certainly, in my view, the child should be evaluated to see if there are any other problems there," he said.

The children, all neighbors, came from three different families. The 4-year-old and the toddler were not related, he said.