A New Jersey woman pleaded guilty on Feb. 29 to first-degree aggravated manslaughter, confirming she set fire to her newborn daughter in January 2015.
Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, who was 22 at the time, gave birth alone in her bathroom Jan. 16, 2015, before taking the baby to a nearby street, wrapping it in a blanket and setting it on fire, media reports say.
Before setting light to the child, Dorvilier doused her with a WD-40 lubricating spray, reports Philly.com.
Residents reported seeing the fire outside at around 11 p.m. When David Joseph went to investigate, Dorvilier told him she was burning dog feces.
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Dorvilier poured water on the flames, and Joseph said he heard the baby crying. Dorvilier then tried to run away from the scene, but Joseph managed to pin her down as his wife called 911, reports Burlington County Times.
The baby was rushed to hospital but died two hours later from third-degree burns on her body and smoke inhalation. She was posthumously named Angelica by relatives, reports Burlington County Times.
In court on Feb. 29, Dorvilier acknowledged her involvement.
“When you did that, you realized at a minimum that there was a probability that death would result from those actions, isn’t that true?” Dorvillier’s public defender, Karen Thek, asked her, according to the Burlington County Times.
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“Yes,” Dorvilier responded.
Dorvilier was originally indicted on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child in April 2015. But a plea deal agreed by the prosecution means she will be sentenced for aggravated manslaughter only, reports Philly.com.
A report on the 23-year-old’s psychological state was submitted Feb. 16 after it was conducted at the defense’s request. Thek could potentially seek to argue for a shorter prison term at the upcoming sentencing hearing in April.
Dorvilier reportedly concealed her pregnancy from her mother and sister.
She faces a 30-year prison sentence. She would have to serve at least 85 percent of any sentence before being considered for early release.
Dorvilier has been in jail since her arrest Jan. 17, 2015, and is being held on $500,000 bail.