Prosecutors brought a Cobb County couple’s case before a grand jury last week to expand upon the already serious charges, exposing new details.
Erica Claudette White and Michael Robert Schullerman were already contending with murder charges in the poisoning her disabled 2-year-old son. Authorities say that after killing him the couple took out several credit cards in the dead boy’s name by falsifying information.
According to the indictment, they gave him a lethal dose of codeine in November 2014.
As a possible alibi, the indictment said, they went on a date to a Powder Springs gun range while White’s adult daughter and her husband babysat the boy, unknowingly watching him deteriorate. They called 911 when he stopped breathing. He died at a hospital.
Authorities claim White and Schullerman did all this to get a life free from caring for a boy left blind and severely brain-damaged by his father’s beatings as a newborn. Schullerman wasn’t the father.
The 13-count indictment said the suspects got the credit cards to fund a drug habit.
Prosecutors had the grand jurors accept an expanded version of the initial indictment, going into greater detail about how the couple allegedly executed their scheme.
The new indictment is nine pages longer than the last.
In it, police claimed the couple — either before or after allegedly killing the boy — created bogus documents and accounts, and did the following:
- Got five credit cards in the boy’s name using a false birthday
- Tried to get four more the same way
- Failed to notify Social Security of the boy’s death so they could keep getting benefits
- Created multiple online fundraising accounts asking for tens of thousands of dollars to help the boy recover from his father’s beating
- Obtained a $50,000 life insurance policy without mentioning his severe pre-existing disabilities
- Received funds from a state fund for victims by forging a letter
- Applied for a medical services loan to get fertility treatment a month before allegedly killing the boy so they could have a child together
Three days before 11:24 p.m. Nov. 8, 2014, when hospital medics declared the boy dead, medical staff at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta installed a device in the child’s neck to help with seizures.
The ailments the boy suffered almost all his life were caused by his father Joseph Rucker McFall shaking, throwing and hitting him at eight-weeks-old. His father cracked both his son’s arms and a rib.
McFall was sentenced to 20 years in prison April 17, 2014.
White said in court then that she’d filed for divorce and struggled every day to care for the child and his injuries.
Months later during the summer, White and Schullerman met through an online dating service.
He moved from Florida into her Austell home, and that’s where they started to form the scheme, investigators believe.
Both have been in the Cobb jail since their arrests.
In other news, watch MARTA riders rescue visually impaired man who fell onto tracks: