Man sentenced to 80 years in prison for child's murder - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Man sentenced to 80 years in prison for child's murder

Jarrod W. Rudder (Source: Jackson County Sheriff's Office) Jarrod W. Rudder (Source: Jackson County Sheriff's Office)
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JACKSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -

An Elkville, Illinois man has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for first degree murder.

Jarrod W. Rudder, 27, formerly of Michigan, must serve 100 percent of the sentence, followed by three years of mandatory supervised release. In addition, he is required to register in the Illinois Murder and Violent Offenders Against Youth Registry.

Rudder was convicted of first degree murder on June 22 by a Jackson County jury. After hearing testimony and looking at evidence presented during a week-long trial, the jury returned a verdict of guilty, rejecting a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

According to Jackson County State's Attorney Michael C. Carr, the evidence showed that on April 20, 2012, just before midnight, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call to report an unresponsive 2-year-old child.

The caller, Rudder, reported that the child fell in the bathtub of an Elkville home.

An Elkville police officer arrived on scene and immediately recognized that the child has symptoms of a closed-head injury.

The child was taken to a Carbondale hospital and later air-lifted to St. Louis Children's Hospital.

At the St. Louis hospital, doctors were concerned with the number of bruises on the child's body. Child abuse pediatricians became involved. They say the child had major brain swelling, and his condition was critical.

Detectives with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department began investigating. They say the child had been left in Rudder's care while the child's mother was at work. Rudder was dating the mother at the time.

According to detectives, Rudder gave conflicting accounts about what happened to the child.

They say during the investigation, Rudder admitted that he grabbed the child by the arm, swung him off of a couch and the child hit a wall in the home.

The child died at St. Louis Children's Hospital on April 22, 2012.

During an autopsy, it was found that the child had an injury to the nerves in his brain, which is caused by extreme acceleration and deceleration forces. It showed he also had eight lateral rib fractures and severe bleeding deep within his abdominal cavity.

The pathologist and child abuse pediatricians testified that the child would have had immediate symptoms from these injuries.

Medical experts testified that the injuries were not the result of a fall from the bathtub or a ground level fall. They determined these injuries were consistent with abuse and trauma.

Many witnesses testified during the trial that the child was not injured before the mother left for work. They stated that the child was walking, talking and running without any noticeable issues.

The investigation was conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, with help from the St. Louis City Medical Examiner's Office, the St. Louis Children's Hospital's Child Protection Program and the Elkville Police Department. Assistant State's Attorney Casey Bloodworth was responsible for the prosecution of this case.

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