Parents kill 9-week-old son after argument over lack of sex because of the crying child
A couple has been accused of murdering their nine-week-old son after they got into a drunken argument about not having sex because of their newborn baby. The parents, 26-year-old Luke Morgan and 22-year-old Emma Cole, are currently on trial for smothering their baby, Tyler Morgan, early in the morning of April 29, 2014, at their two-bedroom apartment on Burntwood, Staffordshire. The court heard that the child was intentionally smothered or had his chest depressed. He also had fractured ribs.
Jurors at the Stafford Crown Court heard how neighbors heard the couple arguing in the middle of the night before the baby's death about being low on money. They also said they heard Morgan had been fuming because he wanted to have sex with Cole but had been stopped because their son was still awake, Daily Mail reported.
Emergency responders were called to the scene at 2.42 am and found the child unresponsive. The infant was immediately taken to the Walsall Manor Hospital where he was pronounced dead a little after 4 am. The couple was accused of murder, manslaughter, allowing the death of a child and cruelty to a child under 16-years-old at the trial on April 2.
Prosecutor Andrew Smith QC opened the case by saying: "At 2.42 am, on April 29, 2014, Emma Cole dialed 999 to summon an ambulance to her home address. Nine-week-old Tyler had collapsed before the call had been made. Tyler's collapse had been caused by him being intentionally smothered or by his chest being depressed."
He added, "He was taken to the hospital and died just after 4 am. He had sustained other injuries including fractured ribs. The prosecution contends deliberate, unlawful actions caused the death of the infant and the parents are responsible for his murder."
The court was also told about how a neighbor heard an argument between the couple that night while Tyler was crying in the background. Smith added: "Luke Morgan was angry because he wanted to have sex with Miss Cole and had been prevented by Tyler being up."
"On the night of April 28, a neighbor went to bed at 10.30 pm and she could hear them having an argument about having no money; Emma was sobbing. In the early hours of April 29, there was a high pitch screech from Miss Cole. Barry and Helen Wood at the flat above heard arguing in the hours before Tyler collapsed, they thought it may have been taking place in the kitchen. Mrs. Wood said they were shouting at each other at 1 am."
"The prosecution say they were having the arguments at a time when they were drinking alcohol. The 999 call was made at 2.42 am and the first person to speak to the operator was Emma Cole. She said Tyler was not breathing. Paramedics were immediately dispatched. They were given instructions to perform CPR."
He continued: "At 2.51 am, the first of the ambulance crew were met by Luke, he was crying and upset but showed the crew into the property."
"Tyler was lying with his back on the floor. Emma Cole was trying to do chest compressions. She was plainly very upset. When the paramedics began to assess Tyler in the bedroom he was showing no signs of life and was in cardiac arrest. As paramedics treated Tyler, the defendants argued. He was saying 'I was trying to wake you up', she said 'I did not know I was asleep'."
Smith added, "The paramedics tried to find out how long he had been unresponsive. Mr. Morgan provided no answers. It was at 1.45 am that Tyler had been unresponsive and Luke Morgan could not wake him."
"Mr. Morgan had repeatedly said 'this is a cot death isn't it'. Miss Cole kept telling him to 'shut up'. Tyler was taken to Walsall Manor Hospital and admitted to A&E at 3.40 am. Tyler had no heart rate and was not making any breathing effort. He died at 4.03 am, he was nine weeks old. It was said that [Luke] did not call 999 because he had a stammer. During April 29, police officers went to the address and saw two empty wine bottles and nine empty cans of lager," he concluded.
The trial will resume on April 3.