During a fight over missing drugs, a Monroe County man allegedly smothered his 6-month-old son last year after texting threatening messages to the baby’s mother, according to new charges filed against the couple Wednesday.
In the texts, Christian Tuliszewski allegedly told Samantha DeFrancesco that he would starve their two children, leave them home alone and suffocate them if he didn’t get the drugs she had hid, according to the court records.
The two were already facing child endangerment charges in the May 6, 2018, death of Brady Tuliszewski. State police say they allegedly used heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine in the hours before the baby’s death and then attempted to cover up their drug use.
An autopsy found no signs of illness. Cuts to the inside of the baby’s mouth and bruises to his face were similar to those found in children who have been intentionally smothered, court records say.
With the new evidence, which included additional forensic testing and the text messages, a forensic pathologist determined the baby died of complications of asphyxia and the manner of death was ruled homicide.
The investigation also determined Tuliszewski was the last one with the baby.
On Wednesday, Tuliszewski was charged with one count of homicide and DeFrancesco, was charged with third-degree murder, with authorities saying, “she has the duty to protect the victim from harm, including deadly harm from threats.” In the new charges, her last name is spelled DeFrancesca.
Tuliszewski and DeFrancesco, both 24, were charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and conspiracy to hinder apprehension. In addition, Tuliszewski is charged with tampering with evidence for allegedly attempting to delete his messages.
According to a criminal complaint file in court:
The couple, who have another child, admitted to using heroin, meth and marijuana for months while both children were present.
Text messages found on their cellphones showed that they agreed to mislead police about their drug use and other texts revealed they argued over drugs.
DeFrancesco claimed she paid for the drugs though Tuliszewski used most of them.
Five days before the baby was found dead, Tuliszewski accused DeFrancesco of hiding the drugs.
"He’s not eating until I find it,” Tuliszewski texted. “I’ll suffocate him if I don’t get my [expletive];” and “I’m going out, leaving the kids here so either leave work or they’re here by themselves.”
Police say that early on the day the baby died, the text argument was about Tuliszewski taking money from DeFrancesco’s account to buy meth.
During fight over drugs, father smothered baby, police allege in charges against Monroe County couple
During a fight over missing drugs, a Monroe County man allegedly smothered his 6-month-old baby last year after days of threatening texts to the baby's mother. Both were charged Wednesday in the baby's death.
The parents had used meth, heroin and marijuana in the days and hours leading up to the boy's death, authorities say.
Charges were withdrawn for Christian Tuliszewski in relation to police finding an unresponsive child in a home with heroin and marijuana.