A Georgia woman who poisoned her disabled toddler son to death learned on Wednesday that she will spend the rest of her life behind bars.
A Cobb County jury found Erica White guilty of murder earlier this week, along with numerous other charges. On Wednesday, Judge Mary Staley Clark sentenced White to life in prison, plus an additional 83 years for killing her own son, Tyrael McFall, by putting codeine in his feeding tube.
After the boy passed away, White and her boyfriend, Michael Schullerman, obtained five credit cards using Tyrael’s social security number. They maxed the cards out within months and attempted to get an additional four credit cards.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, little Tyrael didn’t have much of a chance at life. He was nearly beat to death mere weeks after he was born, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2012, his biological father, Joseph Rucker McFall, beat the infant, 8 weeks old at the time, so badly that he blinded him for life and fractured bones in his arms and ribs.
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 poisoned her son in 2014, then lied to authorities, claiming she had no access to codeine. Authorities later found that she filled a prescription for Tylenol No. 3 with codeine just days before poisoning the little boy.
In addition to malice murder, White was also found guilty of racketeering after she failed to tell the Social Security Administration that her son died, while continuing to receive his benefits. She was also convicted of numerous counts in financial fraud in connection with the credits cards she took out in her son’s name.
Further, she was convicted of taking out a $50,000 life insurance policy on Tyrael while failing to disclose his disabilities on the application.
Her list of convictions are as follows:
- Malice murder
- Felony murder
- Aggravated battery
- Making false statements (two counts)
- Identity fraud (three counts)
- Forgery in the second degree
- Financial transaction card fraud (six counts)
“The crimes committed by this defendant are the most reprehensible and unforgivable that exist in our community,” prosecutor Susan Treadaway said.
During closing arguments last week, the prosecution indicated that White was so “selfish” that she didn’t bother to retrieve her son’s ashes from the funeral home after his funeral services. Instead, she left the little boy’s remains in a box as she used his name to spend around $50,000 on herself and Schullerman.
“It was a very difficult, emotional case because speaking on behalf of this two-and-a-half-year-old child takes a toll on everybody involved,”District Attorney Vic Reynolds added. “We believe without any equivocation that justice was done today.”
Schullerman previously pleaded guilty to financial fraud and racketeering, but refused to take any responsibility for Tyrael’s death. He’s currently serving a 20-year prison stint.
[Feature Photo: Erica White/Cobb County DA]