Stepmom of scalded boy who died has Ohio court appearance


FRANKLIN, Ohio (AP) — A woman accused of putting her 4-year-old stepson’s legs in scalding water as punishment the night before he was found unresponsive is set for an initial court appearance on a child endangering charge as Ohio police investigate his death.

His father told a 911 dispatcher the child got into a hot bath Tuesday, then went to bed and was found unresponsive Wednesday in Franklin, roughly 35 miles north of Cincinnati.

Franklin police say their investigation indicates the hot water was a punishment, and the death of Austin Derreck Cooper was ruled a homicide.

A statement from Police Chief Russ Whitman says the boy’s stepmother, Anna Ritchie, was being held on $350,000 bond.

Her video arraignment is scheduled for Friday.

She had no attorney on record in Franklin Municipal Court.

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