Heather Reynolds Sicklerville, NJ mother found guilty of smothering toddler son to death cause he was obstacle to extra-marital affair. Plans to appeal verdict.
The Sicklerville woman will be sentenced in October for smothering her son, Axel, on May 10, 2018. Reynolds faces the prospect of spending the rest of her life in prison.
Reynolds suffocated the 17 month old child by holding a cleaning wipe over his nose and mouth. She then ran from her home, carrying the toddler boy in her arms, and screaming to neighbors for help.
Gloucester Township Police responded to the scene, with a statement at the time saying ‘the child was pronounced deceased a short time later.’
Obstacle to affair
A year after the boy’s death, medical examiners determined he had died from asphyxia, and Reynolds was arrested on June 13, 2019.
Authorities had said Reynolds killed Axel because he was an impediment to the ongoing extramarital relationship she was having with her boyfriend.
‘A review of the text messages between the defendant and her boyfriend from the previous night reveal that the defendant was becoming frustrated by the boyfriend’s apparent lack of interest,’ Assistant Prosecutor Peter Gallagher alleged in court in 2019, NJ.com reported at the time. ‘And witnesses also told detectives that the defendant had expressed the sentiment that her toddler son … was an obstacle to her relationship with her boyfriend.’
Reynolds was married at the time of the murder, but her husband was mostly out of town for work.
Mother maintains innocence, plans to appeal verdict
Reynolds started crying after the jury’s decision was announced The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
The woman’s attorney, Richard ‘Skip’ Fuschino, told the Inquirer Reynolds maintains her innocence and plans to appeal the verdict.
Officials had also accused Reynolds of conspiring with her boyfriend, Jeffrey Callahan, to kill one of her exes, Domenic Caruso, after learning Caruso had spoken to the police investigating Axel’s death.
However, jurors acquitted her of conspiracy to commit murder and witness tampering charges filed last year.
At trial, Fuschino argued in court that it was Caruso who smothered Axel while Reynolds was asleep. But prosecutors countered Caruso had no motive to kill the boy.
Along with Reynolds, Callahan was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and witness tampering. Prosecutors dropped the conspiracy count after he agreed to plead guilty to witness tampering.
A date for the 45-year-old Callahan’s sentencing has not been set.