Griswold Mother Arrested for Son’s Murder to Serve 12 Years in Prison

A woman in Griswold, Connecticut, who has been described by prosecutors as possessing “limited intellectual and emotional resources,” has been sentenced to serve twelve years in prison for the 2021 smothering of her six-week-old son.

38 year-old Crystal Czyzewski suffocated her youngest child on the 17th of November in 2021, when she held a blanket tightly over his face for a full twenty minutes before she placed him in a swing and left him there for most of the day, until she called 911.

The sentencing follows a guilty plea to the charge of first-degree manslaughter, which was entered in the New London Superior Court.

Czyzewski was living with her mother and her young daughter at the time of the incident. She told police that the burden of caring for two children had stressed her beyond her limits. Michael Miller, the defense attorney representing Czyzewski, said that his defendant has battled with mental health issues for her entire life, and is “exceptionally limited” in her cognitive abilities. This mental impairment might explain why she has been seen entering the courtroom with an awkward-yet-gleeful smile.

Miller said that his client seems childlike and cheerful at times when she should be buried in depression. She has been held in prison since her 2021 arrest. Although she entered the courtroom with a smile for her sentencing hearing, she spent the bulk of the proceedings—when her son’s death was discussed in detail—rocking back and forth to soother herself as she cried.

When paramedics arrived at the Czyzewski home in Griswold on November 17, 2021, they found her son to be barely breathing, with pale skin, but still alive. They also found food in the boy’s mouth, which appeared to have been part of an attempt to make the boy look more alive than he was. Despite being taken to the hospital, the child died four days later.