A dad who left his 2-year-old son to die in a 2017 car crash he caused after he shoplifted speakers from Walmart has been found guilty of murder.
Christopher Kuhn, of Hamilton, New Jersey was convicted on Wednesday of third-degree murder. Last October, Kuhn fled a Pennsylvania Walmart he stole $228 worth of television speakers, prosecutors said.
Kuhn, 28, reportedly concealed his license plate with a sweatshirt after shoplifting. He then ran a red light and caused a three-car accident. Police said Khun's car t-boned another car as he ran through the red light, and the second car crashed into a third vehicle.
“Kuhn’s son, Qadan Trievel, was killed when Kuhn’s Jeep SUV blew through a red light, struck another vehicle on Route 13 and rolled over,” according to a statement from the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office. “The unbelted toddler was ejected onto the roadway, fatally fracturing his skull.”
No other injuries were reported in crashes.
Police claim the dad looked at his son before fleeing on foot. He was caught by police soon after.
A toxicology report revealed that Kuhn had Oxycontin and marijuana in his system at the time of the crash. He was also driving with a suspended license, according to the Bucks County Courier Times.
One of the other drivers in the accident, Fernando Medrano, said Kuhn was driving too fast.
"I saw it when the baby flew, and I saw Kuhn run away," Medrano told WPVI-TV. "I just can't believe he ran away."
This isn’t the first time Kuhn was accused of putting his family in danger. In 2016, Kuhn allegedly bit and strangled his ex-girlfriend and held a screwdriver to her neck while she was holding Kuhn’s 9-month-old child, according to The Trentonian in Trenton, New Jersey. It is unclear if the child who died in the crash is the same child in the previous arrest report.
Kuhn will be sentenced in June. On the murder charges alone he faces 20 to 40 years in prison, according to the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office. In addition to murder, he was also found guilty of homicide by vehicle, accidents involving death while not properly licensed, driving under the influence of controlled substances, retail theft, endangering the welfare of a child, recklessly endangering another person, failure to stop at a red signal, driving under suspension or revocation, reckless driving and failure to use safety restraints on a child.
Khun's family friend Diana Williams defended him after the crash and told WPVI-TV, "I can tell you right now that he is in his own private hell, and he is going to suffer and hold on to this for the rest of his life."
[Photo: Bucks County Jail]