Child death investigation continues in Hot Springs | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 3, 2015

Child death investigation continues in Hot Springs

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 5:24 PM

Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington of Jonesboro was formally approved in a circuit judge's order today to act as special prosecutor to investigate the death of 18-month-old Thomas Naramore of Hot Springs, found dead after his father, Juvenile Judge Wade Naramore, called 911 July 24.

The child's death has been ruled heat-related, according to a preliminary autopsy finding. The circumstances that preceded the police response to a call and a meeting with Naramore on a street near his home on a hot afternoon have not been revealed. Naramore was interviewed by police that day.

The local prosecutor, Terri Harris, stepped down from the case because Naramore had previously worked as a deputy prosecutor. Ellington said members of his staff began talking to Hot Springs police last week. He said the police had done a thorough investigation so far but he said his team had made some additional suggestions and was still awaiting the full report from the medical examiner.

"We've got to look at  everything," before making a decision in the case, Ellington said. He was hesitant to say when he might make a decision on whether charges were merited.

Ellington said a special circuit judge will likely be appointed by the Supreme Court to handle continuing proceedings in the case because Naramore is a judge there. He has not been presiding in juvenile court since the death.

Ellington acknowledged that he'd heard criticism of a failure of police to immediately file charges, but he said that's not unusual in many cases, including those involving children left in hot cars. He noted that it's protocol to give police involved in shootings a 48-hour period before they are interviewed about the shootings. Naramore was interviewed by police the day of the death, he said. The preliminary autopsy finding came three days later.

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