A Georgia woman accused of killing her disabled son with codeine and opening up numerous credits cards in his name is waiting to hear her fate as the jury decides if enough evidence was presented to convict her.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Erica White, of Austell, is facing 16 criminal charges after she allegedly poisoned her 2-year-old disabled toddler, Tyrael, in Nov. 2014. Two years earlier, when Tyrael was 8 weeks old, his biological father, Joseph Rucker McFall, beat the infant so badly that he blinded the little boy for life and left him with fractured bones in his arms and ribs. The abuse also left the boy unable to eat on his own or walk.
McFall was sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised probation. Tyrael was left in the care of his mother, Erica Claudette White, who filed for divorce from McFall after the incident.
White allegedly gave the boy, who turned two 2014, a fatal dose of codeine. Police said that White initially denied having codeine in her possession, but investigators learned she filled a Tylenol with codeine prescription two days prior to the toddler’s death. On Nov. 8, 2014, a medic pronounced Tyrael dead.
According to court documents, White and her boyfriend, Michael Robert Schullerman, a man she met online, both poisoned the little boy. Afterward, the pair allegedly got five credit cards in the toddler’s name, then attempted to get four additional cards.
Further, they’re accused of failing to notify the Social Security Administration of the boy’s death, in an attempt to keep receiving his disability benefits. They’re also accused of forging a letter to receive state funds, and applying for a $50,000 life insurance policy without listing his disabilities.
For the past nine days in a Cobb County courtroom, prosecutors have painted White as a “poisoning for profit” liar who drugged her son so she could bank in on his life insurance policy and open credit cards using his social security number.
The defense argued that White didn’t kill the little boy, but instead, blamed Schullerman. Defense attorney Bryan Lumpkin said Schullerman was the only person in contact with Tyrael on the day he was given codeine.
“She had no idea codeine even came into her house,” Lumpkin said on Weds. “Not long after he’s [Schullerman] there, credit card applications start happening, and after Tyrael’s death they explode.”
“Erica White is a liar,” Cobb County Assistant District Attorney Susan Treadaway argued. “Erica White is a thief. Erica White is a murderer!”
Check back with CrimeOnline as we continue to provide coverage on updates in the case.
[Feature Photo: Erica White/Police Handout]