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11-year-old Raniya Wright died of natural causes and not because of classroom bullying, officials say

Raniya Wright died of natural causes, according to 14th circuit solicitor, Duffie Stone, who also said no charges will be filed
UPDATED MAR 18, 2020
(Source : Getty Images)
(Source : Getty Images)

Prosecutors have said that 11-year-old Raniya Wright who died last month following a fight with her classmate at her elementary school in South Carolina died of natural causes and not because of the fight.

There was no evidence that the fight contributed to her death, prosecutor Duffie Stone said at a news conference on Friday.

"There was no evidence of trauma on or inside her body ... that would indicate that any fight (of) any magnitude contributed to her death," Stone, the area solicitor, stated at a news conference. "There will be no criminal charges brought," he added.

The South Carolina fifth-grader, died of a blood vessel rupture in the brain related to a birth defect,  called "arteriovenous malformation," that could have taken place "just about any time," and the "fight did not have anything to do with her passing away," Stone said.

Prior to her death, she was involved in a "five- to 10-second slap fight" with another student in a classroom at Forest Hills Elementary in Walterboro on March 25, and a teacher separated them, Colleton County Sheriff RA Strickland said on Friday.

Raniya had no sign of and spoke of no injury, but complained of a headache about 10 minutes later at the principal's office, he said.

She then lost consciousness and was rushed to a local hospital. She later was transferred to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where she died.

Stone clarified that Raniya had visited a doctor at least six times because of headache-related issues since February 2017, including 13 days before the fight.
"The headaches are a manifestation" of "this type of condition," he said. "It was a matter of time," he added.

At the press conference, Stone restated that the fight had nothing to do with the death and there is no way the small fight could affect the condition. "They had no signs whatsoever that the fight had anything to do with it," he said referring to the pathologists and others who examined Raniya.

The revelation of the cause of death comes at odds with Raniya's mother, Ashley Wright, who said that Raniya's friends told her that a bully had been baiting the 10-year-old into a fight and caused her to hit her head on a bookshelf before she died.

Her family member put a status on Facebook after the news, asking for justice.