'Baby I'm scared': new text message evidence in homicide trial for Mullinix toddler

“I’m sitting here crying I never went thru something like that baby I’m scared.”

Tyree Bowie texted this to Leah Mullinix soon after bringing her 2-year-old son Dante to York Hospital, according to new evidence admitted on the fourth day of his trial on Friday.

Bowie has been charged by the state for the alleged murder of Dante in 2018.

Friday’s proceedings included witness testimony from multiple detectives who responded to the incident that led to Dante Mullinix being comatose in the Hershey Medical Center.

Leah Mullinix left Dante with Bowie on the night of Sept. 6 as she went to the York Hospital emergency room for a migraine. Dante was next seen with Bowie on camera at a Rutter's buying a drink.

Approximately an hour and 40 minutes later, Bowie is seen swiftly walking Dante Mullinix’s near-lifeless body into the York Hospital emergency room.

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Dante sustained numerous bruises, strangulation marks, chest and spinal injuries, along with a brain bleed. He was transferred to the Hershey Medical Center that night, where he died a few days later.

Bowie faces charges of murder of the first and third degree and child endangerment. His attorney, Farley Holt, said his client is innocent, and the injuries were likely caused by Leah Mullinix or one of her ex-boyfriends.

Leah Mullinix is currently facing a felony count of child endangerment, with her next court hearing scheduled for Jan. 18, 2023.

Bowie’s defense is that he thought Dante Mullinix was choking on a cookie he gave the child. He gave some form of CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in his car and brought him to the hospital. He claims to have not caused any of the other injuries to the toddler.

The case is before Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder and a jury.

Assistant District Attorney Tim Barker and Senior Deputy Prosecutor Rachel Sherman brought York City Detective Tiffany Pitts to the stand to talk about her investigation into the child’s death.

Among the notes in that investigation included texts exchanged by Bowie and Leah Mullinix on the evening of Sept. 6 to 7.

The conversation begins around 9 p.m. Bowie tells Leah Mullinix Dante had fallen out of the car but was OK.

“… I already have cys up my ass lil **** needs to learn how to listen,” Leah Mullinix replied in the thread.

According to testimony, about an hour later and after a video call with her, Bowie texts Leah Mullinix that they are headed to the hospital and all he did was give Dante some cookies. After dropping Dante Mullinix at the hospital, Bowie returned to the residence he was staying at in Northern York County, where he texted Leah for updates.

“Yo I’m a sit out here for a bit I got to cover my head yo I never went thru s--- like this before wtf happened he was fine then nothing wtf happened,” Bowie texted Leah Mullinix around 11 p.m.

Protesters stood outside the York County Judicial Center during the trial of Tyree Bowie to claim his innocence.
Protesters stood outside the York County Judicial Center during the trial of Tyree Bowie to claim his innocence.

More on Dante:‘This poor kid was doomed from the beginning:' The tragic life and death of Dante Mullinix

Bowie said the toddler was in good spirits “dancing to Nelly,” the music artist, before he began choking.

“No seeing his face he wouldn’t smile at me was the worst I can’t get his face out my head I can’t he always smiled at me but nothing,” Bowie texted next.

Pitts also talked about her investigation when she went to the Hershey Medical Center to examine Dante Mullinix, noting the bruises and swelling.

Holt asked Pitts about her remarks in her initial interview for the case, regarding a bite on Dante Mullinix's upper right arm. She then referred to the bite as a “kid bite," saying her characterization was based on the size of the bite found.

Prosecutors allege Bowie is responsible for the bite.

Other detectives, including Sgt. Chuck Crumpton, Commander Andy Baez and Chief County Detective Scott James, all took the stand as well, recounting the night of Dante Mullinix’s hospitalization.

Crumpton recalled being called near midnight for the case. They spoke with Bowie’s mother to try to find him, ultimately arriving at a friend’s residence where Bowie was staying just north of Route 30.

Bowie was not present that evening, so they staked out his car and were able to make contact with him quickly in the morning for an interview.

Additional evidence was shown at the end of the day from what was found in Bowie’s car, including Leah Mullinix’s day planner, receipts from the day and evidence of scuffs and marks from some unidentified interaction in the car.

The trial is expected to run through the week.

Jack Panyard is a reporter at the York Daily Record, part of the USA TODAY Network. Contact him at jpanyard@ydr.com, 717-850-5935 or on Twitter @JackPanyard.

This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: New text message evidence in homicide trial for Dante Mullinix