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Nebraska City News-Press - Nebraska City, NE
  • Peter Draper Guilty in Death of 2-Year-Old Grandson Joseph Rinehart, Jr.

  • Attorney General Bruning today announced Peter Draper, 48, of Naponee was convicted of causing the death of his two-year-old grandson Joseph Rinehart, Jr. He faces 20 years to life in prison for one count of committing intentional child abuse resulting in death, a Class IB felony, and up to 50 years in prison for one count of...
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  • Attorney General Bruning today announced Peter Draper, 48, of Naponee was convicted of causing the death of his two-year-old grandson Joseph Rinehart, Jr. He faces 20 years to life in prison for one count of committing intentional child abuse resulting in death, a Class IB felony, and up to 50 years in prison for one count of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class II felony. Sentencing will be held August 1, 2013 in Franklin County.
    “This man’s horrific abuse caused the death of his two-year-old grandson,” said Bruning. “Today’s conviction ensures he is held accountable for taking little Joseph’s life.”
    Joseph was pronounced dead after his mother Laura Rinehart and grandmother Nancy Draper brought him to Franklin County Memorial Hospital on April 30, 2012.
    An autopsy showed cause of death to be multiple blunt force traumas to the boy’s head, trunk and extremities. Joseph suffered a perforated bowel and had fractures to the skull, pelvis and ribs.
    Joseph’s 4-year-old sibling told authorities Peter Draper had hit Joseph in the stomach and knocked him to the ground. Earlier incidents of child abuse by Peter Draper were discovered as the investigation continued.
    Laura Rinehart and Nancy Draper were also charged with committing intentional child abuse resulting in death. Nancy Draper is scheduled for trial beginning June 17, 2013 in Phelps County.
    Assistant Attorneys General Sandra Allen and Matt Lierman are handling the cases.
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