A 23-year old New Jersey woman, Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier who hid her pregnancy from her family, gave birth and set her newborn daughter on fire in January 2015 and left her in the middle of a street to burn to death has been sentenced to 30-years imprisonment, Los Angelese Times reports.
Fortunately, a neighbour saw her, called the Police, tried to save the baby by covering her in a towel and then held Dorvilier down until the Police arrived. Dorvilier was found with a gas canister and lighter in her pockets.
According to authorities, the baby was found with her umbilical cord and placenta still attached and had third-degree burns over 60 percent of her body. She died two hours after she was flown to a Philadelphia hospital. Autopsy reports confirmed that the infant died of smoke inhalation and and burns.
Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier pleaded guilty in February to aggravated manslaughter and was sentenced on Friday to 30 years in prison. While handcuffed and shacked in court on Friday, she said:
“I was on a downward spiral. I believe I hit my rock bottom. I apologize first and foremost for not giving my daughter, Angelica, the life she deserved. She deserved so much better.”
Police said they responded to a call about a fire on a road in the township, near Philadelphia and that when they arrived at the scene, they found the neighbour holding Dorvilier down on the ground and the baby wrapped in a smoldering towel and paper.
Dorvilier’s sister, Dejennie, pleaded with Judge Terrence Cook for leniency, saying that Dorvilier needed help. But the judge said the punishment was “the sentence that justice requires,” adding that:
“The crime in this case was committed against the weakest of the weak, a helpless newborn. All she knew was the extreme excruciating pain of being set on fire by her mother, the person who was supposed to love and protect her.”
Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi said:
“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.”
Witnesses to the baby burning homicide told police that Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier poured flammable liquid on her newborn daughter before setting the infant on fire. “It was just horrible. Like nothing you’ve ever seen,” neighbor David Joseph told the media. He also said that due to the woman’s apparently calm demeanor, he thought she was just dumping trash after stepping out of her Land Rover. “We saw the fire and thought someone was burning trash,” he added.
When Joseph’s wife realized a baby was burning alive, she screamed and Dorvilier attempted to run away from the area but David Joseph managed to hold her down until the police arrived. A makeshift memorial for the baby burned alive still stands where the homicide took place. Joseph said:
“It was just mind boggling. It was nightmare even if you have a strong heart. Hopefully she’ll pay for it.”