Schenectady woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of infant son

April 11, 2019 06:17 PM

SCHENECTADY - A Schenectady woman has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of her infant son.

Heaven Puleski was accused of murdering the son, Rayen, and hiding his body behind her apartment building last summer.
She was facing six counts, including manslaughter, concealment of a corpse, tampering with evidence and endangering the welfare of a child.

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Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney says they decided to offer a deal in this case because there wasn't enough physical evidence to convict Puleski on a murder charge.

Carney says by the time Rayen's body was found behind Puleski's apartment building on State Street on August 9, it had decomposed to the point where it was impossible for medical examiners to determine a cause of death.

Carney says there was a witness who claimed to have seen Puleski shake Rayen violently, but he says Puleski told police that she had shot up heroin and fallen asleep with the baby, accidentally suffocating him.

Carney says Puleski had just moved back to Schenectady from Saratoga County when this happened. He says she was being visited by Child Protective Services in both counties. He says he doesn't think additional supervision could have prevented this.

Puleski could face 15 years behind bars. Sentencing is set for June 5.

Hear from the district attorney by watching the video of Emily Burkhard's story.


Emily Burkhard & WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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