NJ mom charged with setting newborn on fire sentenced to 30 years in prison
The 23-year-old Pemberton mother accused of setting her newborn baby on fire in the middle of the street has been sentenced to 30 years in New Jersey State prison.
Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier must serve at least 85 percent of her sentence before she will be eligible for parole, according to Burlington County Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi. Dorvilier pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter on Feb. 29.
Authorities say that on Jan. 16 of last year, Dorvilier gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the home she shared with her mother and sister.
"She then wrapped the infant in a towel and drove to a wooded area a few miles from her house on Simontown Road. She set the infant down on the roadway, doused her with WD-40 lubricating oil and set her on fire," the prosecutor said. "Her family did not know that she was pregnant."
Pemberton Police responded to reports of a fire in the middle of Simontown Road and when they responded, found the baby ablaze in the street. Authorities said residents living on Simontown Road noticed the fire and when they went outside and confronted Dorvilier, she told them she was burning dog feces. At that point, the baby began to cry and when Dorvilier tried to flee, she was restrained by residents and eventually arrested by police.
The infant was alive and still breathing when she was flown to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, but was pronounced dead about two hours later, according to authorities. An autopsy determined that her death was a homicide, the prosecutor said, and revealed that she died due to smoke inhalation and thermal burns.
“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. “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.”
During a vigil following the infant's death, her family posthumously named her Angelica. Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.