Staffers Convicted in Youth’s Death

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Three former employees of a residential treatment program in Louisiana have been convicted of negligent homicide and cruelty to a juvenile, after essentially running a 12-year-old boy to death.

Alex Harris died in September 2005 while he was in a group of boys who were forced to run, as punishment, at the Hope Youth Ranch in Minden, according to witness testimony. Witnesses testified that the boy showed signs of hyperthermia through much of the day, but received no medical attention. He was denied water, and he collapsed while on the run.

Although some of the testimony differed, District Court Judge Parker Self found that Harris was allowed to lie in the sun for hours after he collapsed and before he was moved and medical treatment was summoned.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Frank Peretti reported the cause of death as hyperthermia and blunt force head trauma.

Anthony L. Combs, Arthur G. Henderson III and Kelton Greenard were all convicted of negligent homicide and cruelty to a juvenile. On the day of the incident, Greenard and Combs were in charge of the afternoon detail at the faith-based nonprofit, and Henderson was working with a ranch supervisor.

Five others were arrested in connection with the death, but charges against them were dismissed.

Each of those convicted faces up to five years in prison for the negligent homicide charge and 10 years on the charge of cruelty to a juvenile. Sentencing is set for next month.