A 24-year-old Florida man confessed to killing his crying infant so he could continue playing video games, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.
Cody Eugene Wygant of Homosassa is charged with third-degree murder and willful child neglect, deputies said. Deputies arrived at Wygant’s home on Thursday after receiving a report that Daymeon, Wygant’s 16-month-old child, had stopped breathing, deputies said.
The boy was taken to Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy was completed Thursday.
When he faced detectives, Wygant confessed to suffocating the child, deputies said.
According to his arrest report, Wygant said he placed his hand over the child’s mouth and nose for three to four minutes because the baby cried uncontrollably, preventing him from playing Xbox. He then placed the child in a playpen and put multiple layers of bedding over his body and head, tucking it beneath his body to prevent him from getting fresh air, the report says.
Wygant didn’t return for another five hours. He played video games for an hour and a half and watched three episodes of a television show, the report says. When he finally checked on the child, he was blue and not breathing.
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When investigators arrived at the scene, Wygant and his girlfriend, the boy’s mother, told investigators that the boy was placed in the playpen at 7 a.m. When they checked on him at 8:15 a.m., they saw that he wasn’t breathing and called 911, the sheriff’s office said.
Wygant told investigators that he was the only person with his son between 1 and 8:15 a.m. Thursday. He also told investigators that he was the primary caregiver for the child, the sheriff’s office said.
The Citrus County Medical Examiner’s Office has completed an autopsy on the boy, but hasn’t released the cause of death, the sheriff’s office said.
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Wygant had never been arrested in Citrus County. He moved to Florida in January. He has no job or family in the state.
He lived with his girlfriend, and besides Daymeon have a 3-month-old daughter, who after Wygant’s arrest was placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Families, the sheriff’s office said.
Wygant was born and raised in California, where he has an extensive criminal record that includes trespassing and rape, the sheriff’s office said.