A North Carolina woman already accused of killing her five-month-old son is now charged with crimes against nature.
In October, Elyssa Anne Kucharski, 27, was charged with one count each of murder, child abuse and concealing or failing to report a death, according to Wilson County court records reviewed by Law&Crime. At the same time, her boyfriend, Taylor Dale Lucas, 33, was charged with two counts of accessory after the fact to murder and one count of concealment or failure to report a death.
This week, Kucharski was indicted on six counts Crimes against nature, court documents show. The Tar Heel State’s vague law creates a felony that criminalizes unspecified crimes against “man or beast.” All appellate case law suggests that the charge is typically brought as an “add-on” in other sex crime cases for almost anything other than heterosexual reproductive sex. accordingly Prof. Jessica Smith, criminal justice scholar at the University of North Carolina.
On September 28, five-month-old Ragnar Kucharski was found unresponsive by Wilson County Sheriff’s deputies responding to a 911 call at a residence on Little Rock Church Road in the small town of Lucama around 9:15 p.m for children responded 50 miles east of Raleigh.
Law enforcement performed CPR on the child until emergency medical services arrived, but their efforts were in vain, according to a Durham resident ABC affiliate WTVD. According to Raleigh officials, officials later determined the boy was dead long before anyone made the 911 call that night NBC affiliate WRAL. Full autopsy results have yet to be released, but officials believe the child was at least partially asphyxiated.
Kucharski allegedly told investigators afterwards that she let her boy sleep in an outbuilding behind the house owned by her boyfriend’s family, but when she returned home she found Ragnar face down and unresponsive. Lucas, for his part, gave an interview to WRAL on Sept. 28 in which he reportedly confirmed Kucharski’s story and said he performed CPR on the boy while telling her to call 911.
According to court documents in the case obtained by WRAL, the Wilson County Department of Human Services made the 911 call about Ragnar – not anyone in the apartment. Lucas is accused of lying to investigators about the events of the day the boy died.
“Our investigation indicates that the child had been deceased for some time before the incident was reported to law enforcement,” said Wanda Samuel, chief of staff for the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office The Wilson Times. “It was obvious that neither Elyssa Kucharski nor Taylor Lucas called for help or called 911 to take life-saving measures for the child.”
Kucharski was being held without bail at the Wilson County Detention Center. Taylor was given a $100,000 secured bond.
Both are scheduled to appear in court on July 4, 2024, on charges related to Ragnar’s death. Kucharski had an initial appearance scheduled for Monday on charges of crimes against nature.
According to various local media reports, Kucharski pleaded guilty in 2021 to negligent child abuse resulting in serious bodily harm and turned two of her children over to county child protection authorities.
Law&Crime repeatedly reached out to the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office for further details on this story, but there was no immediate response at the time of publication.
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