A dad has been charged with deliberately killing his 6-year-old son by smothering him while playing video games on Christmas Eve, deputies in Florida said Thursday.
James Dearman, 31, became angry and pinned the child to the couch until he couldn’t breathe and lost consciousness, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said.
He and his girlfriend left the child on the couch, went to the garage to smoke a cigarette and later called 911, it said in a statement.
“The child was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead. Responding deputies reported seeing bruising on the child's back,” the statement said.
Dearman had used his weight to pin the child to the rear cushions of the couch, it said.
“His son screamed that he couldn't breathe and begged to use the bathroom eventually urinating on the couch and becoming unconscious.”
The dead boy’s 7-year-old sibling watched the death unfold, according to NBC station WFLA.
“There’s not a detective or anybody who isn’t pretty upset about this and finds it egregious and malicious, the treatment of a 6-year-old child,” said Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Captain John Walsh.
The sibling was uninjured and remains in the protective custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, the deputies' statement said.
"The investigation continues as an official cause of death has yet to be determined by the Medical Examiner's Office."