|Published:||Oct 23, 2013 6:32 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 23, 2013 11:37 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Lee County Sheriff's Deputies say the boy was wrapped up so tightly in a blanket, he couldn't move.
Michael McMullen's grandmother, step-father and a family friend are all charged with homicide in this crime.
Michael's father is now fighting for justice for his son and says the boys mother and grandmother would do whatever it took to keep him away from his children.
"I feel that the persons responsible should be punished for it because the little kid is three years old he couldnt hurt a fly, he didnt even know how to kill a fly," said Allan Pineda.
Pineda has a retraining order against him that was filed by the boys grandmother. They say Pineda was abusive towards his children, but Pineda denies those claims.
"It's not true. I am not a danger to my child," said Pineda.
The last time Pineda says he saw Michael was two months ago in court.
"I said to myself I am going to see that kid again. Again must be in heaven," said Pineda.
"I just hope that Michael will rest in peace and whoever did this they should be punished for it," said Pineda.
A Department of Children and Families report reveals the grandmother, Gale Watkins, gave the boy Nyquil that day.
Also, a report filed in July says Watkins may have had Michael and his three siblings sleep in cages to keep them from getting up at night.
When we tried to talk to Samantha Mc Mullen, the boys mother, she said she was scared and hurt over the death of her son, and wanted to be left alone.
McMullen told deputies she was not home when they found the three year old boy on the floor of his bedroom, with family friend, Donella Trainor and the boy's grandmother, performing CPR.
According to their arrest report, "the child had a small bruise over his eye, a small bruise on his forehead and some minor bruising inside of his mouth."
"I'm totally sick about it. When you hear it on the news, you get a pot in your stomach, and you want to throw up," said neighbor Nancy Wood.
Deputies say Trainor wanted Michael to stop acting rowdy so she wrapped him in 6 layers of blankets to calm him down.
The wrap left him bound in a manner where he could not move or break free.
"I doubt like heck she put the blanket on him and meant to kill him. It's ignorance," said neighbor Dick Foster.
Watkins and the boy's stepfather, Douglas Garrigus allegedly did nothing to help him.
Samantha says her mother had custody of her four children, because of a domestic dispute with Garrigus. A DCF report shows he had broken her jaw.
McMullen had also tested positive for drugs.
The surviving children are all in foster care.
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Lee County Sheriff's Office has charged three people with aggravated manslaughter of a child, a first degree felony.
On Saturday, Oct. 19, the deputies responded to a 911 call just after 6:30 p.m. about a 3-year-old child who was unresponsive. The young boy was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead 40 minutes later.
Detectives with the Lee County Sheriff's Office Major Crimes Unit interviewed the three adults who were home at the time, Donella Trainor, 45, Gale Watkins, 53, and Douglas Garrigus, 21. Then, on Tuesday, Oct. 22, detectives did follow up interviews with the three. An autopsy was also performed by the District 21 Medical Examiner.
After reviewing the evidence, the Lee County Sheriff's Office is now considering the death of 3-year-old Michael Lee McMullen a homicide.
Detectives say Trainor had a method of discipline referred to as a "wrap." This is where she would roll a child in a blanket and tie the ends down in order to prevent movement, or escape.
On Saturday, Trainor did the "wrap" as she had in the past when she laid McMullen down for a mid-afternoon nap. Detectives say Trainor laid the child into a crib, face down. Authorities say McMullen screamed and pleaded to be released. Trainor then told the child she would take him out of the "wrap" if he calmed down.
A short time later, McMullen's grandmother, Watkins, came into the room and told Trainor the knot on the blanket was too tight and to loosen it. However, Watkins did not stay in the room to make sure it happened, and instead left to take a nap. Meanwhile, according to Garrigus, McMullen continued to struggle for the next hour. Garrigus, authorities say, told the boy to calm down. At one point, Garrigus said he could hear McMullen crying and hyperventilating.
When Trainor came back into the room sometime later, she noticed the knot had loosened, so she re-tightened it and placed pillows around the sides of the crib and on McMullen's legs. Eventually, the boy stopped crying and screaming, so Trainor assumed he had calmed down and would rest. Later, when she went to wake and release him, she found him soaking wet and unresponsive.
Trainor and Watkins performed CPR until the deputies, firefighters and emergency medical technicians arrived.
In addition to the aggravated manslaughter of a child charge, which all three received, Trainor was additionally charged with aggravated abuse of a child for the willful torture, malicious punishment or willful and unlawfully caging of McMullen.
All three made their first appearance in court Wednesday morning and remain in the Lee County Jail.