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Grandma charged with murder after 8-year-old girl brought to emergency room with ‘severe injuries throughout her entire body and head’

Patricia Ann Ricks

Patricia Ann Ricks (Nash County Sheriff’s Office)

An 8-year-old girl was beaten so severely by her grandmother and legal guardian that there was no chance to save her life at the hospital, authorities in North Carolina allege.

Patricia Ann Ricks stands accused of beating the unidentified victim at a residence on Dutchman Rd. in Nashville, North Carolina, where the girl lived with her other siblings under the care of the grandmother. Now the surviving children are in the custody of Nash County Department of Social Services, and their 72-year-old former caretaker faces charges of first-degree murder and felony child abuse — charges which would certainly put her in prison for the rest of her life if she is convicted.

The Nash County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest late Tuesday, just hours after the victim died upon arriving at the Nash UNC Healthcare emergency room, authorities said.

“On Tuesday 02-07-2023 shortly after 4:00pm, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a juvenile that was brought into the Emergency Room at Nash UNC Healthcare with severe injuries and was deceased upon arrival. Deputies and Detectives responded to the hospital to further investigate,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release.

Investigators said they went to the crime scene after finding out where the girl was living.

“Based on the investigation, it was determined that the 8-year old juvenile was beaten so severe by the Grandmother that she died from the injuries. The child had severe injuries throughout her entire body and head,” the sheriff’s office continued. “The child lived with the Grandmother, and several other siblings on Dutchman Road, as the Grandmother was the legal guardian of the children.”

Authorities said that Ricks did not make a statement upon being arrested and was booked without bond in the Nash County Detention Center. The sheriff’s office said detectives are still investigating a motive in the case.

Ricks is expected to appear in Nash County District Court on Thursday. It’s unclear at this time if she has an attorney of record.

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.