Murder charges filed in death of boy placed under comforter
Prosecutors have filed new charges against the parents of a 4-month-old boy who died after being placed under a comforter at a Burlington County motel earlier this year.
Prosecutors and state police say that 42-year-old William Herring and 22-year-old Brianna Brochhausen face new charges of murder and conspiracy. They were charged with child endangerment in March following the death of their son, Hunter.
Prosecutors said the parents put the child on a bed Feb. 14 at the Hilltop Motel in Springfield Township, where the family was living. They pulled a comforter over him, then went outside to smoke. When they returned 10 minutes later, he was unresponsive. He died March 3 at a hospital.
Officials say that the couple became frustrated that their son would not stop crying and “decided he needed to be placed in a ‘time out.’” They allegedly put Hunter on his stomach on the bed and pulled the comforter over him.
“The responsibilities of becoming a new parent can sometimes be overwhelming,” Prosecutor Scott Coffina said in a statement. “Those who find themselves at a point of crisis when caring for a newborn child should know that help is available, and they must seek that help rather than taking actions that might harm their child.”
Parents Anonymous of New Jersey offers parent support groups, and also provides a 24-hour Stressline/Family Helpline to listen to the concerns of parents and provide referral and crisis intervention information. They can be reached at 1-800-THE-KIDS, or www.pofnj.com.
It was not immediately clear whether the defendants had obtained attorneys who could comment on their behalf.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.