A man accused of not calling 911 when the mother of his 17-month-old son sent him videos of the boy’s lifeless body after she allegedly smothered him to death has been charged with child endangerment.
Andre Price Jr., 24, of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, did not alert the authorities when he received the disturbing footage from Christian Clark, 21, during an angry exchange of messages, prosecutors say.
After he waived a preliminary hearing Monday, defense attorney James Sheets said Price is still mourning the death of toddler Andre III.
Sheets said that the boy’s mother had made similar, but empty, threats before to kill the boy and the couple’s two-year-old daughter, Angel.
‘This is the little boy who cried wolf,’ Sheets said, referring to Clark. ‘On any number of occasions Miss Clark had threatened the life of his children, and he had family members or friends check on them and they were fine.’
Clark remains jailed awaiting trial on homicide, attempted homicide, assault and endangerment charges.
Raiford previously said his client waived her preliminary hearing so testimony about the grisly case wouldn’t be amplified in the media and prejudice future jurors. Sheets said he had similar concerns in waiving Price’s hearing.
Allegheny County police contend Clark sent a barrage of angry texts, threats, photos and videos November 1 because she believed Price planned to be with another woman.
Sheets contends Price went to his sister’s after work to avoid rekindling an argument he had with Clark.
‘Ya kids ain’t safe here I don’t want them here’ and ‘Answer me or im going to jail for child endangerment’ were among dozens of texts listed in the criminal complaint. Then came a message about an hour into the rant that said, ‘I’m killing them,’ followed by a laughing emoji with tears coming from its eyes, police said.
Clark then sent Price pictures of both of the children face down on the mattress, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
‘I wasn’t even gonna send you videos but pretty sure ya son is legit dead,’ she wrote, the affidavit states.
‘I’m going to jail either way,’ she then adds, ‘Hope it was worth it.’
Authorities said Price rarely responded during the entire exchange, at one point telling Clark he wasn’t coming to the house and to ‘leave them alone’.
But just after 11pm, when Clark texted Price ‘I really snapped this time’, he told her to try and wake their son up.
‘I said hold him,’ Price texted her.
‘It’s okay I’m dialing 911,’ she wrote.
‘You need to if he dead,’ Price then replied.
‘I am,’ Clark responded. ‘Sorry I did this. I didn’t mean to.’
Clark called 911 more than an hour after sending the lifeless video but when police arrived, it was too late.
Clark first claimed not to know how he died, then confessed to smothering him, police said. Clark is also charged with trying to smother Angel.
Sheets said that Clark had sent pictures or videos of the children’s limp bodies before, which is why Price didn’t take them seriously at first.
County police noted in their criminal complaint that Price also didn’t alert authorities when Clark texted him pictures of her holding the children by the throat around Andre III’s first birthday.
Price posted those pictures to Facebook with a caption that said: ‘These two pictures she is choking them because was (sic) ain’t together ….’
Sheets said those posts supports his claim that Clark had threatened the children previously but didn’t physically harm them.
Price still has court-supervised visits with his daughter, who is living with a relative, Sheets said.
‘I feel as though the loss of his son makes him a victim just as much as the young man that lost his life,’ Sheets said.
Source: Daily Mail UK