'He's not breathing': Trial begins for Calgary man accused in infant's death

CALGARY — A Calgary father has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his infant son, as court heard the man's 911 call in which he said he was trying to calm the baby down.

The trial for Anthony Karl Kurucz, 32, started Monday in the Court of King's Bench in Calgary. It is scheduled to run for almost three weeks.

Police have said emergency crews were called to a Calgary home in April 2018 to help a three-month-old in medical distress and that Kurucz was alone with his son at the time. The infant, Jayden Cyluck-Kurucz, was unconscious and he died in hospital two days later.

Kurucz was charged in September 2019 after police said the story he provided to medical staff was inconsistent with the boy's symptoms.

On Monday, court heard a recording of the 911 call from Kurucz that came in around 12:15 p.m. on April 25, 2018.

"My baby was freaking out," Kurucz said on the call. "I was trying to calm him down, rock him, that kind of thing."

He said there was blood coming out of his son's nose.

"I'm freaking out because my wife just went to take our dog to the vet," Kurucz said.

He told the dispatcher he believed the boy's heart was still beating.

"He's very floppy, he's very limp," said Kurucz.

When asked by the dispatcher whether the baby was breathing, he responded: "I can't tell. I know his heart is beating, though."

He then asked whether his son was going to live.

"I don't know what to do," said Kurucz on the call. "I didn't do anything wrong to him. I was just trying to calm him down and rock him.

"He's not going to die, is he?"

Kurucz asked the dispatcher, Craig Moxley, whether police were coming. Moxley said paramedics and firefighters were on the way. Moxley confirmed the call during his testimony in court Monday.

Court heard fire crews were the first to arrive at the home in southeastern Calgary.

One of the senior firefighters, Greg Heise, testified that the crew found Kurucz outside.

"The father was holding Jayden on the sidewalk," Heise said Monday. "We were probably caught a little off guard.

"The father said, 'He's not breathing.'"

Heise said first responders placed Jayden on the ground. His colleague started CPR while he tried to open Jayden's airway, he said.

"I was not able to do that," said Heise, noting there was dried blood around the baby's nose and mouth.

He said the father didn't provide much information when Kurucz was asked what happened.

"He was freaking out," said Heise, who noted it was difficult to get a clear answer from the father. "He initially stayed with us.

"At some point, he mentioned he needed to have a cigarette."

Heise said he and his colleague continued to treat Jayden until paramedics arrived a few minutes later.

"He was pale," said Heise, adding there was a bluish tinge around the baby's nose and mouth. "His eyes were open but not reactive."

Another firefighter and a paramedic are scheduled to take the stand Monday afternoon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 7, 2022.

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press