New Law Boosts Penalties for Fatal Child Abuse

Apr 20, 2017

Parents or guardians who cause the death of a child in West Virginia will face tougher penalties under a law signed by the governor.

Credit wikimedia

Gov. Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 288, known as "Emmaleigh's Law," into law Wednesday. It sets a sentence of 15 years to life for fatal child abuse caused by a parent, guardian, custodian or other person allowed by the parent to commit the abuse.

The law is named after 10-month-old Emmaleigh Barringer, who died Oct. 5 while under the care of her mother's boyfriend, Benjamin Ryan Taylor. He's accused of sexually assaulting and killing the girl.

Sen. Mitch Carmichael says the baby's death prompted petitions to lawmakers to increase the penalties for similar crimes.

Taylor is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 8.