ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler and left him to die in a playpen, police said on Friday.
Cody Wygant, 24, was arrested on Thursday on charges of third-degree murder, which is an unplanned killing, and child neglect with great bodily harm, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, Heather Yates, said.
A judge on Friday set bond at $100,000 for Wygant.
Wygant, who is from Homosassa, located about 92 miles west of Orlando, told investigators that he was trying to play Xbox games online at 1 a.m. on Thursday and became frustrated by his son, Daymeon, who was crying uncontrollably, according to the arrest affidavit.
Wygant said he placed his hand over the boy’s mouth and nose for three to four minutes until the child appeared exhausted and lethargic. He placed the boy in a playpen and covered him from head to toe with several layers of bedding, tucked in such a way that it prevented fresh air from getting to the boy, investigators said in the affidavit.
Wygant told investigators he played video games and watched television for about five hours before checking on the boy, who by then was blue and not breathing.
“It is inconceivable that a father could kill his infant son - it just baffles the mind,” Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear if Wygant has an attorney. A representative from the local public defender’s office could not be reached for comment.
Yates said Wygant was unemployed and recently had moved to Florida from California. Yates said Wygant has an extensive criminal history in California ranging from trespassing to rape.
The medical examiner is conducting further testing to verify that the death was caused by suffocation and determine the exact time of death, Yates said.
Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Leslie Adler