Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mom Shot Videos of Son's Death, Police Say Mckeesport Woman Faces Homicide Charge

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Mom Shot Videos of Son's Death, Police Say Mckeesport Woman Faces Homicide Charge

Article excerpt

In the video, a year-old boy lies face down on a bed. His mother picks him up by his right arm, then drops him back on the bed. A child's cartoon plays in the background. Mom is silent.

The clip came nearly 2 hours into a sequence of texts, photographs and videos in which police said Christian Clark cataloged her fury, threats to harm her children, and descriptions of her efforts to smother them. The recording gave detectives an intensely close view of a killing and its aftermath.

"She was sending [messages] before the act, at the time of the act and following the act," said Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough. He noted that text messages have played a key role in several recent homicide cases.

Allegheny County Police used three videos, two photographs and a long-running chain of text messages Wednesday to charge Ms. Clark, 21, of McKeesport, with killing her 1-year-old son and attempting to kill her 2-year-old daughter.

Text messages outlined in an affidavit supporting the charges against Ms. Clark indicate she was angry with the children's father, Andre Price Jr., because she thought he was seeing another woman.

Ms. Clark called 911 at 11:13 p.m. Tuesday to report that her son, Andre Price III, was unresponsive inside their apartment on Coursin Street. Police and medics arrived and took the boy to UPMC McKeesport, where he was pronounced dead less than a half-hour later. His sister, Angel Price, was also taken to the hospital for an evaluation. Police said she was with family Wednesday and seemed to be doing well.

Allegheny County homicide detectives joined the investigation after the boy died. They searched through text messages on Mr. Price's phone and interviewed Ms. Clark. Police said Ms. Clark and Mr. Price lived together part time. At some point Tuesday, the pair argued, according to the complaint.

McKeesport police Chief Bryan Washowich said during a news conference Wednesday that his office did not have any prior calls involving Ms. Clark and her children.

But Clairton police did respond to a call two years ago involving Ms. Clark and a man named Andre Price. In that case, Mr. Price told police he was trying to fall asleep when Ms. Clark fought with him, bit him and hit him in the face. The charges in that case were withdrawn for reasons that weren't immediately clear.

At some point Tuesday, police said, Ms. Clark and Mr. Price argued. About 2:30 p.m., he left for work.

About 8:25 p.m., police said, Ms. Clark began texting Mr. Price, who was at a friend's house, about why he wasn't coming to her home and "accused Price of cheating on her with another woman." The texts "turn to animus and threats against the children," police wrote in the affidavit.

Shortly after 9 p.m., police said Ms. …

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