Man charged with involuntary manslaughter is accused of hugging child to death

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Robert Kemp's booking photo from the Orangeburg County Detention Center.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina sheriff says a 26-year-old man has been charged with involuntary manslaughter more than a year after he hugged a 14-month-old child so tightly that the boy stopped breathing and died.

A news release from Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell says Robert Kemp was taken into custody Tuesday and released on $10,000 bond Wednesday. Kemp is described as a family friend.

After the hug on June 27, 2013, someone in the home noticed the child was unconscious in his crib and unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate him.

The sheriff’s release didn’t say why it took a year to bring charges or give additional information on why Kemp was charged.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff did not respond to an email or phone message.

If convicted, Kemp faces up to five years in prison.

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