New Jersey woman convicted of burning newborn sentenced to 30 years

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 22, 2016 6:19 PM

By Marcus E. Howard

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New Jersey woman convicted of killing her newborn daughter by setting her on fire last year was sentenced on Friday to 30 years in state prison, prosecutors said.

Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 23, of Pemberton Township, a Philadelphia suburb, must serve 85 percent of the sentence, or 25-1/2 years, before she is eligible for parole, Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi said.

Dorvilier pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter on Feb. 29 after she was charged with first-degree murder in the baby's death in Mount Holly, New Jersey, in January.

As part of the plea deal, Bernardi recommended a 30-year prison sentence. Dorvilier's attorney, Karen Thek, was not immediately available for comment.

"During this child's short time on Earth, she experienced nothing but pain and suffering caused by the hands of her own mother," Bernardi said in a statement.

"This was an atrocious act, and one that was entirely preventable given our state's law that allows someone to anonymously give up an unwanted infant."

According to Barnardi, Dorvilier's family did not know that she was pregnant.

After Dorvilier gave birth to the baby girl on Jan. 16, 2015, in the house where she lived with her mother and sister, she set the newborn on fire using a flammable liquid in a wooded area a few miles from her home, according to investigators.

Nearby residents found Dorvilier as she attempted to flee, prosecutors said. The child died two hours later at Saint Christopher's Hospital in Philadelphia.

(Reporting by Marcus E. Howard; Editing by Sandra Maler)