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Clarion Man Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter After Infant Dies from Hyperthermia Due in Court Today

Tuesday, September 19, 2023 @ 12:09 AM

Posted by Jacob Deemer

judge-1587300_1280 (2) (1)CLARION TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A Clarion man who is facing involuntary manslaughter and related charges for reportedly swaddling his infant with four blankets in a 79.5-degree bedroom in July 2022 is due in court on Tuesday morning.

According to court documents, a preliminary hearing for 21-year-old Logan Darrick Rinehart, of Clarion, is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday, September 19, with Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn presiding.

Rinehart faces the following charges:

– Involuntary Manslaughter, Felony 2

– Endangering Welfare of Children – Parent/Guardian/Other Commits Offense, Felony 2
– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2

He is currently lodged in the Clarion County Jail in lieu of $25,000.00 monetary bail.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, the incident occurred sometime between 8:00 p.m. and 8:50 p.m. on July 21, 2022, at an apartment on Fraternity Drive in Clarion, Clarion Township.

According to the complaint, on July 22, 2022, a Clarion-based State Police Trooper was dispatched to the above-described location after being assigned to complete a death investigation involving a deceased infant. The father of the deceased infant, identified as Logan Derrick Rinehart, had contacted 9-1-1 and reported finding the infant unresponsive in his crib earlier that morning. Emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene and found the infant deceased. PSP Clarion were contacted and activated a partial Troop-C Major Case Team to assist with the investigation of the cause of death.

At the scene, the PSP Clarion Trooper assigned to the case located the infant deceased in the apartment’s only bedroom. The infant was found to be lying inside a Pack-N-Play-style crib, wrapped in four blankets. Two additional fleece blankets were found in the crib next to the infant. It was learned that Rinehart was the only caretaker on the scene. The temperature inside the apartment was noted to be hot and humid, the complaint states.

During the investigation on the scene, the temperature of the bedroom in which the victim was located was recorded to be 79.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Two thermostats were found in the apartment. The thermostat in the victim’s room was in the “off” position, the complaint notes.

On July 22, 2022, Clarion County Coroner Daniel Shingledecker arrived at the scene and pronounced the infant deceased. Coroner Shingledecker approved an autopsy to investigate further into the cause and manner of death.

Logan Rinehart was interviewed at PSP Clarion barracks on July 22, 2022, following the incident.

It was determined that Rinehart was the sole caregiver for the infant during the time leading up to the incident. Rinehart indicated that he moved into the apartment on Fraternity Drive approximately one month ago and had gained custody of the infant approximately two months prior, the complaint indicates.

According to the complaint, Rinehart indicated the previous night he put the infant to bed around 7:30 p.m. He stated due to the infant fussing while trying to lay (him/her) down, he swaddled the infant in two or three blankets before placing (him/her) in (his/her) crib. Rinehart stated when the infant had issues falling asleep, he would swaddle (him/her) for comfort. He stated he used a couple of short blankets because if he used one, the swaddle would come undone. Rinehart also stated that other than the blankets used to swaddle the infant, he also had left another blanket in the Pack-n-Play beside the infant.

Rinehart stated that the infant “fussed” for approximately 30 minutes prior to falling asleep. He stated he did not hear (him/her) wake up through the rest of the night. Around 9:00 a.m. the next morning Rinehart woke up and watched two or three 30-minute long episodes of a Netflix series, prior to deciding to take a shower. Rinehart stated while on his way to the shower, he stopped to check on (him/her). Rinehart discovered the infant deceased in the same position he had last seen (him/her) the previous night, according to the complaint.

An autopsy was conducted on July 22, 2022, at 4:30 p.m., by Forensic Pathologist Dr. Eric L. Vey, M.D. The autopsy report indicated the infant died as a result of environmentally-induced hyperthermia. (Hyperthermia is described as an abnormally high body temperature — or overheating.) No other natural causes of death were found during the autopsy.

The PSP Clarion Trooper reviewed historical weather data from July 21, 2022, to July 22, 2022. It was noted the temperature high was 87 degrees Fahrenheit with no recorded precipitation. On July 21, 2022, at 7:53 p.m., the area temperature was approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Charges were filed against Rinehart on August 31, 2023.

He was arraigned at 11:40 a.m. on Friday, September 1, 2023, in front of Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey C. Miller.

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