NEWPORT—District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn advised that on Dec. 3, 2019 in the Cocke
County Circuit Court, Defendant Kasey Rathbone, Sr. pled guilty and was found guilty of First Degree Murder committed during the perpetration of Aggravated Child Abuse and Aggravated Child Abuse of his six month old son, Kasey Rathbone, Jr.
He was sentenced to life in prison for the murder and twenty-five years at 100% for the Aggravated Child Abuse.
The stipulated facts showed that the victim was taken to the Newport Medical Center because of breathing difficulties. Upon Arrival at the Newport Medical Center it was determined that the child had bruises all over his body and brain trauma was observed.
CT scans of the child revealed brain swelling and bleeding and the child was subsequently flown to Children’s Hospital in Knoxville where he later died on December 16, 2018.
The state’s proof showed that a request to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was made to assist Detective Bob Schaff of the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department in the Investigation. Special Agent Michael O’Keefe being assigned as lead agent.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the minor child, Kasey Rathbone, Jr. was in the sole custody of his father, Kasey Rathbone, Sr. on Dec. 14, 2018 while the mother was at work, with the parties’ home being located on High Point Way in Newport Tennessee.
The Defendant admitted to becoming angry and throwing the six month old child stating he, the Defendant, “Lost his cool and flipped out” wherein he proceeded to strike the child. The State’s proof showed that the Defendant was playing video games on his X-Box and the child became “fussy” which angered the Defendant who then proceeded to inflict the lethal blows to the minor child which lead to the victim’s death.
Dr. Amy Hawes, Medical Examiner, with the Knox County Regional Forensic Center found that the minor child died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries of the head and that the victim had skull fractures, subdural hemorrhage, numerous full thickness retinal hemorrhages and healing lacerations along with multiple bilateral healing rib fractures, specifically, the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth ribs.
Based upon the forgoing, the state’s proof showed that the Defendant’s intentional actions through striking and abusing his six month old son on Dec. 14, 2018, caused such severe blunt force trauma as previously described that the same resulted in the death of the child on Dec. 16, 2018, constituting First Degree Murder committed during the perpetration of Aggravated Child Abuse and Aggravated Child Abuse.
Dunn said, “I would like to thank Detective Bob Schaff of the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department and Special Agent Michael O’Keefe of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for their very thorough investigation in this case.”