Erica White inserted lust for insurance money where a mother’s heart and conscience should’ve dwelled. How else to explain poisoning her 15-week-old son Tyrael McFall to death for $50,000 of life-insurance money?
Little Tyrael never had a chance at childhood. His father Joseph McFall threw him when he was just eight weeks old in the Atlanta area. The impact broke Tyrael’s wrists and a rib. He was permanently blinded, unable to walk and severely brain-damaged.
White left Joseph, though had little use for Tyrael. He just got in her way. She wanted to have fun and spend money with boyfriend Michael Schullerman, who she met on a dating site.
Tyrael had to go.
Prescription codeine kills Tyrael
White bought the life policy just days before Tyrael died. She lied on the insurance application, never mentioning his severe medical conditions. She fed Tyrael prescription-strength codeine through his feeding tube. Deadly doses coursed through his blood system, slowly shutting him down. White and Schullerman then went on a date at a shooting range to create an alibi that evening.
Her daughter and husband babysat, not realizing Tyrael was dying. Paramedics found him unresponsive on the living room floor. Tyrael died that night at the hospital. White tried to cash in the life-insurance policy less than two weeks after Tyrael died.
The toddler was cremated. White abandoned his ashes at the funeral home for months while binge-spending more than $48,000 on herself. She and Schullerman took out five credit cards in Tyrael’s name, using a false birthdate.
Stole disability checks
Nor did she tell Social Security that Tyrael died, so federal disability checks owed to him kept coming each month. The couple also created online fundraising accounts, asking for tens of thousands of dollars to help Tyrael recover from his father’s beating. White and Schullerman even tried to sue the hospital where Tyrael had his surgery after being abused. White was handed the maximum sentence — life without parole plus 83 years in state prison. Schullerman earned 20 years.
“The crimes committed by this defendant are the most reprehensible and unforgivable that exist in our community,” prosecutor Susan Treadaway said.
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