ITHACA, N.Y.—The Tioga County District Attorney has announced charges against a Spencer man after authorities say he killed an Ithaca woman’s child during several days of abuse earlier this month.

Anthony Stutzenstein, 40, of Spencer, NY, was charged with second degree murder in the case, which was unsealed on Thursday, March 18. The child was under 11 years old, according to law enforcement.

Between March 6 and 7, Tioga County District Attorney Kirk Martin said Stutzenstein allegedly assaulted the child of an Ithaca woman that he was dating, then returned the child’s “apparently lifeless” body to the woman on March 7. Police said “it is alleged that Stutzenstein assaulted his girlfriend’s child while watching him for several days, causing blunt force trauma that resulted in the child’s death.”

When the child was returned, the woman’s friend called 911 and state police from the Ithaca barracks investigated.

Specifially, the announcement states that the child died “under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, and being 18 years old of more the defendant recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of serious physical injury or death to a child, who was less than 11 years old and thereby caused the child’s death.”

Martin also credited the state police’s Owego barracks, major crimes unit, the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and Tompkins County District Attorney Matt Van Houten with “invaluable assistance.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com