A father from McKeesport, Pennsylvania, has been charged with child endangerment after he failed to report that his 17-month-old son had been smothered to death by his own mother.
Andre Price Jr., 24, failed to alert the authorities when he saw disturbing footage of his the boy’s mother, Christian Clark, 21, smothering the child to death.
A preliminary hearing was waived on Monday after defense attorney James Sheets argued that Price was still mourning the death of his son Andre III.
According to Sheets, the boy’s mother had made empty threats to Price before that she would kill Andre and his 2-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 is currently being held in jail and is facing homicide, attempted homicide, assault, and endangerment charges.
According to the police, Clark sent Price a bunch of angry texts, threats, photos, and videos on Nov. 1 after she believed he was interested in being with a different woman.
Sheets maintains that Price went to his sister’s place after work in order to avoid reigniting a fight 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 many of the texts listed in the criminal complaint.
Not long after came the worst of them all, “I’m killing them,” followed by a laughing emoji with tears coming from its eyes, police said.
At that point, Clark sent Price a photo of both of the children laying face down in the mattress.
“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.”
Price responded, telling Clark that he wasn’t coming to the house and to “leave them alone.”
Around 11 p.m., Price texted Clark and told her to check on their son.
“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.”
When 911 arrived at the house, more than one hour after the original video was sent, it was too late to save the boy. Clark later confessed to trying to smother their daughter Angel as well.
Sheets said Price didn’t take the photos and videos seriously because Clark had sent similar ones before.
“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.