Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist told the court that Deutsch fell asleep after putting the child in the freezer on Saturday, then awoke after an hour and was removing the baby when the horrified child’s 22-year-old mother returned.
He’s accused of taking the phone away when the mother tried to call for help from their trailer in Roy, Washington. The mother took the child and got neighbors to call police. Prosecutors say the child’s core temperature fell to 84 degrees in the 10-degree freezer. She also had a broken arm, a broken leg, blisters on her feet and a head injury.
She is expected to survive. If convicted of the charges then Deutsch is looking at spending the rest of his life in prison. The little girl’s mother did not attend court on Tuesday, but the charging documents state that she did not trust Deutsch to be left alone with their child.
The court heard how the mother returned home to find Deutsch removing the baby from the freezer wearing only a diaper. The freezer, an upright compartment over the fridge was set to 10 degrees and held a half-full bag of ice and a bag of cauliflower.
Immediately the mother attempted to call 911, but Deutsch attempted to stop her – at which point she ran with her baby to the the trailer park landlord to complete the emergency call. Deutsch followed and admitted putting the girl into the freezer, but said that it was for his daughters own benefit.
However, when police arrived, he changed his story saying that he was exhausted from working all night – fell asleep – and awoke to find that the baby was not asleep next to him where he had left her. He said he had no idea how she ended up in the freezer.
Police believe that he intentionally put the child in the compartment to stop her from crying. ‘It was only a six-week-old kid,’ Ed Troyer of Pierce County Sheriff’s Dept. said.
‘A six-week old kid can’t do much other than cry. And from what we understand he wanted the baby to stop crying so he put the baby in the freezer.’ The infant girl is expected to recover. Her father is scheduled to appear in court May 28.
The court heard the Deutsch was not under the influence of any substances but did hear his prior convictions. He pleaded guilty to identity theft in 2012, using his younger sister’s credit card to buy cigarettes and beer and in 2007 he tried to escape police after they tried to test him for DUI.