Aggravated Manslaughter Conviction for Ventnor Woman
A Ventnor NJ woman who got high on drugs and then accidentally rolled on top of her infant baby is headed to prison after pleading guilty to charges for aggravated manslaughter.
The suspect is a 32-year-old resident of Ventnor, New Jersey. On January 3, 2016, she allegedly used heroin and was heavily under the influence of drugs when she rolled over in bed and smothered her daughter, a seven-month-old infant. The suspect later dialed 911 and called for an ambulance. By the time emergency medical crews arrived at the Monmouth Avenue residence, however, the child was unresponsive.
Emergency medical responders rushed the baby to an area hospital, where doctors tried to save her life. Tragically, five days after the incident, the infant child was taken off life support and passed away.
Meanwhile, Ventnor detectives searched the suspect’s home and allegedly discovered 34 bags of heroin and 10 oxycodone pills. As a result, the suspect was arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including:
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Heroin possession
- Illegal prescription drug possession
When the young victim later died as a result of her injuries, the child endangerment charges against the suspect were upgraded to aggravated manslaughter charges.
Plea Agreement with Atlantic County Prosecutors
The suspect ultimately avoided a criminal trial in Atlantic County Superior Court by accepting a plea offer from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. Under the terms of the suspect’s plea agreement, she will probably be sentenced to a term of incarceration of eight years in New Jersey State Prison. Additionally, given the severity of the offense, it is likely that she will be required to serve at least 85 percent of her prison sentence before becoming eligible to be released on parole. (This is in accordance with the NJ No Early Release Act, which typically applies in cases involving violent crimes and crimes resulting in death or serious bodily injury.)
The Atlantic County Superior Court judge will still have to sign off on the suspect’s plea deal with Atlantic County prosecutors. The suspect will appear in court at a later date for a formal sentencing hearing, at which time the judge will decide whether the agreed-upon punishment is sufficient.
If you have been charged with a crime in Atlantic County, NJ, you need a qualified criminal defense attorney on your side. An experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney can help you fight your charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact Jill R. Cohen anytime to schedule a free initial consultation about your case.