Utah man arrested for child abuse homicide after 2-year-old girl dies
Aug 9, 2023, 11:24 AM | Updated: 11:44 am
(Marc Weaver/KSL TV)
ST. GEORGE, Utah — Police say a 2-year-old girl who was injured late last month has died, and a 29-year-old LaVerkin man has been arrested in connection to her death.
Detectives with the St. George Police Department said the 2-year-old girl arrived at St. George Regional Hospital on July 19 and was unconscious and unresponsive. Doctors said she had suffered “significant trauma to the brain and head.” According to a probable cause statement, the suspect, Randy Lessing, said the girl fell off her bed while throwing a tantrum and hit her head on the ground.
The girl was later airlifted to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas due to the severity of her injuries and died on July 24. The lives of two young children were saved as the girl’s heart, liver, intestines and kidneys were successfully transplanted, according to a GoFundMe* account that has been set up to help the girl’s mother.
According to police, multiple doctors in St. George and Las Vegas reported the girl’s injuries were consistent with child abuse. The child’s mother and Lessing, her boyfriend, told detectives that no one else was at the home when the girl was injured.
“During subsequent interviews, (Lessing) confessed to lying about how the child received her injuries at his hands,” St. George police said in a press release.
Lessing was arrested Tuesday and charged Wednesday in 5th District Court with child abuse homicide, a first-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony. Police requested that Lessing be held without bail as he is a convicted felon currently on probation and family members who helped in the investigation told officers they feared for their safety as Lessing could “retaliate causing harm to them.”
*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.