Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced that the parents of a four-month-old boy who suffocated early last year at the motel where the family was living have been indicted for Murder in connection with his death.
William Herring, 42 and Brianna Brochhausen, 23, whose residence at the time of the incident was the Hilltop Motel on Route 68 in Springfield Township, were indicted by a Burlington County Grand Jury on charges of Murder (First Degree) and two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child (Second Degree).
The indictment was returned May 16 and signed by Prosecutor Coffina. An arraignment will be scheduled soon in Superior Court in Mount Holly.
The investigation began when paramedics and Springfield Township police officers were called to the motel on the night of February 14, 2018 on a report of an infant who had stopped breathing.
The investigation revealed that Herring and Brochhausen were frustrated because their son, Hunter, would not stop crying on that night, and decided he needed to be placed in a “time out.” He was positioned on his stomach on the bed, and a comforter was pulled over him, covering his head and entire body. The parents then went outside to smoke cigarettes, returning to the room approximately 10 minutes later, where they discovered that Hunter was not breathing and was unresponsive.
Hunter was taken to Virtua Hospital in Mount Holly, and immediately transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he died March 3.
Herring and Brochhausen are being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Angermeier. The case was investigated by the New Jersey State Police Homicide South Unit, and Troop “C” Criminal Investigation Office.
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
New Jersey also has a Safe Haven Infant Protection Act. The law allows parents or their representatives to anonymously surrender a newborn baby at any hospital emergency room, police station, fire station, ambulance, first aid or rescue squad that is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information visit http://www.njsafehaven.org/
An indictment is merely an accusation. Defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.