Sex offender father charged with killing infant daughter

Tennessee

BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — A registered sex offender in Tennessee has been charged with child abuse and murder in the death of his infant daughter, authorities told news outlets.

William Richard Shaffer, 24, was indicted Wednesday by a Sullivan County grand jury on charges of aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder, news outlets reported.

His daughter, Clara Marie Shaffer, died last week, according to an obituary, the Bristol Herald Courier reported.

Emergency crews responded April 14 to Shaffer’s home due to report of an unresponsive infant, who later died, Bristol police said in a statement. Officers thought the death was suspicious and began investigating, police said.

“During the investigation, detectives collected evidence and conducted several interviews with witnesses and the suspect and established the death was criminal in nature,” Capt. Terry Johnson said in the statement.

Shaffer was being held in the Sullivan County jail on a $1 million bond. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

Shaffer was previously convicted in 2013 of aggravated sexual battery, according to the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry.

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