The plight of 2-year-old Tyrael McFall began when he was brutally beaten by his father and left handicapped at eight weeks old in 2012, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
McFall’s father was sentenced to 20 years in prison in April 2014 for beating Tyrael, who was also blinded by the attack and sustained lifelong injuries, according to the newspaper.
Months after the vicious beating, Tyrael’s mother, Erica White, 45, and her boyfriend at the time, Michael Schullerman, went to a gun range on a date and left Tyrael with White’s daughter at their home in Austell, Georgia, about 18 miles west of Atlanta, authorities said, WSB-TV reported. That was allegedly their alibi.
White’s daughter was unaware that her mother and Schullerman had allegedly given Tyrael a lethal dose of codeine —a narcotic commonly found in cough syrup —which White had gotten from her Tylenol NO. 3 prescription, the news station reported.
Police said an autopsy revealed that Tyrael died from the dose in November 2014, CBS 46 reported.
Tyrael’s death became an opportunity for White to cash in, authorities said. Prosecutors at White’s trial used financial statements to show that she used the boy’s identity to take out credit cards in his name, AJC reported. She also continued to collect Social Security benefits for the boy by not telling officials he had died, authorities said — a crime that Schullerman recently went to prison for, according to AJC.
She “desperately” tried to collect a $50,000 life insurance policy on Tyrael, prosecutors said.
White’s attorney, Bryan Lumpkin, described White as an embattled mother who fought for her disabled boy only to be shattered by his death, AJC reported.
Prosecutors and the defense gave their closing arguments in White’s murder trial this week, and she’s expected to soon learn her fate, WSB-TV reported.