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Suspect arrested in death of 3-year-old

Fort Stewart soldier charged with murder, cruelty to a child

POSTED: September 6, 2011 11:19 a.m.
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Trevor Thomas Cushman-Clifton

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An investigation into the July death of a 3-year-old Hinesville girl resulted in the arrest of a Fort Stewart soldier Thursday night.

 Hinesville Police Department Chief of Detectives Maj. Thomas Cribbs said police arrested Trevor Thomas Cushman-Clifton in connection with the death of Journey Richardson, who was in his care at the time.

According to an incident report filed July 27 by Officer John F. Williams, who was dispatched to a home in the 600 block of First Street, where a child reportedly was unresponsive, the officer arrived and first encountered Clifton, who was engaged to the child’s mother, Morgan Richardson.

Clifton told Williams that Journey Richardson had been left in his care. He said he heard a loud noise come from the girl’s room so he went to investigate and found Journey laying on her back on the bed with her eyes open and white foam coming from her mouth.

Clifton told police he tried to revive her, but she did not respond. He said he took the girl to the front room of the house and dialed 911.

When emergency medical personnel arrived, they tried to revive the child and later transported her to Winn Army Community Hospital on Fort Stewart, where she was pronounced dead.

 Journey’s body was transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Savannah, where an autopsy was performed.

Cribbs said while the final report has not been issued, Clifton has been charged with murder and cruelty to a child.

“With thorough interviews and the child suffering from blunt force trauma, we had enough evidence to charge him,” the chief of detectives said.

Journey’s mother previously had taken her to the hospital several times, where she was treated and released.

Clifton, a Fort Stewart soldier, was escorted by a noncommissioned officer from his unit to the Hinesville Police Department, where he was arrested.

He currently is being housed at the Liberty County Regional Jail in Hinesville.

Morgan Richardson, who also is assigned to Fort Stewart, will not face any charges in the case, according to Cribbs.

 

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