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Cleveland man will now face murder charge in toddler’s death

CLEVELAND — Police say a Cleveland man charged in the death of a toddler he was caring for will now face a murder count.

Ronald Hicks Jr. initially was charged with felonious assault following the death of 2-year-old Ryan Mounts earlier this month. He’s due in court Monday to be arraigned on the upgraded charge.

The toddler was among a group of children Hicks was caring for at a West 39th Street home on June 11. Authorities say Hicks called 911 to report he had found Mounts unconscious with a plastic bag over his head, and the child died the next day at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Doctors later determined the boy had multiple injuries, including a fractured neck and head trauma. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner officially ruled Mounts’ death a homicide.

Court records show Hicks pleaded guilty last year to a separate felonious assault charge. He avoided prison time in that case, instead receiving a year and a half of probation.

None of the other three children inside the home at the time were hurt. The investigation into the incident continues.

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