An infant allegedly placed in a freezer Saturday to stop her from crying also had a broken arm, broken leg, blisters and head injury, Pierce County prosecutors said.
The baby’s father, Tyler Deutsch, pleaded not guilty this afternoon to first-degree child assault, first-degree criminal mistreatment and interfering with the reporting of a domestic violence incident. The 26-year-old Roy man also faces enhancements for aggravated domestic violence.
Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $1 million.
The 6-week-old girl is expected to survive but lasting injuries are unknown.
Deutsch could face life in prison if convicted as charged, deputy prosecutor Michelle Hyer said.
The baby’s mother called 911 Saturday after returning home to their trailer and finding her boyfriend taking the child out of the freezer.
She told sheriff’s deputies Deutsch snatched the phone from her when she tried to call 911. He also followed her to their landlord’s house, insisting the baby was “fine.”
Deutsch told detectives his girlfriend doesn’t trust him with their daughter and had never left him alone with her before Saturday. The mother was away from the home about 90 minutes.
Deutsch initially told detectives he fell asleep and searched the trailer until he found the baby in the freezer.
“The defendant eventually stated that he put (the infant) in the freezer because he was tired and she was crying,” charging papers show.
He was retrieving the child from the freezer after a nap when his girlfriend came home.
The baby, clad only in a diaper, had a body temperature of 84 to 86 degrees. The average body temperature is 98.6 degrees. She was alone in the freezer with a bag of cauliflower and a bag of ice. The freezer was 10 degrees inside.
The child was wearing clothes when her mother left, prosecutors said.
“This is one of those crimes that defy understanding,” Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said.