Father Charged with Murder in Death of 2-Year-Old Son in Crash
A retail theft suspect accused of fleeing in his vehicle was charged tonight with third-degree murder after an afternoon traffic collision in Tullytown that killed his 2-year-old son.
Christopher D. Kuhn, 27, of Hamilton, NJ, was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Robert L. Wagner Jr., who set bail at $5 million cash.
In addition to the murder count, Kuhn was charged with homicide by vehicle, accidents involving death or injury while not properly licensed, retail theft, endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license and running a red light.
Wagner set a tentative preliminary hearing date of Oct. 10 for Kuhn.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the suspect’s gold Jeep SUV ran a red light as it fled south on Route 13 after a suspected retail theft. The Jeep struck another vehicle and rolled over, ejecting the toddler onto the roadway, the affidavit said.
Kuhn ran away after the crash, police said, pausing to look at his injured son on the roadway before fleeing. Officers ran after Kuhn, catching and arresting him, while others tended to the toddler, the affidavit said.
The boy was taken to Lower Bucks Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The suspect’s SUV was not being chased by police vehicles at the time of the crash, authorities said.
The incident began shortly after noon, when Tullytown police were dispatched to a Wal-Mart store on Levittown Parkway for a suspected retail theft.
The suspect, later identified as Kuhn, had been holding a small child when he left the store after security personnel tried to detain him for not paying for $228 worth of merchandise, the affidavit said.
By the time police arrived, Kuhn had gotten in his Jeep and was driving away, the affidavit said. A witness told officers that the suspect had let the child climb into the SUV while he covered the vehicle’s license plate with a sweatshirt.
The witness said the child had climbed into the rear driver’s side of the Jeep, but that the suspect had not secured the boy into a child safety seat, the affidavit said. Police later found a child safety seat in the rear seat of the vehicle.
A check of Kuhn’s driver’s abstract showed that his New Jersey driver’s license was suspended.
No one else suffered serious injuries.
The case was investigated by the Tullytown Borough Police Department and the Bucks County Crash Investigation Team, with assistance from the Bensalem Township Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James, Chief of the Homicide by Vehicle Division.
A copy of the criminal complaint and probable cause affidavit is attached below.
Contact: Robert D. James, 215.348.6332, firstname.lastname@example.org