An Elizabethtown woman will serve up to 20 years in prison for suffocating her infant daughter, found unresponsive in an apartment in July 2018.
Candace Parrow, 25, previously pleaded no contest guilty but mentally ill to 3rd-degree murder and related counts regarding the 4-month-old girl’s death.
Lancaster County Judge Jeffery Wright sentenced Parrow on Monday to 9 to 20 years in prison, saying Parrow has a mental health diagnosis, but she was intelligent enough to understand the significance of her actions.
Assistant District Attorney Karen Mansfield said Parrow demonstrated that by lying to police who responded to her East Orange Street apartment on July 16, 2018.
“She knew what she did,” ADA Mansfield told the judge. “She was smart enough to lie to the police about what happened.
“She strangled her 4-month-old infant. This wasn’t something that could be argued as an accident; this was a strangulation.”
Parrow’s defense lawyer said Parrow has intellectual disabilities and suffered from post-partum depression.
ADA Mansfield did not challenge those diagnosis but said Parrow cancelled appointments with doctors and took other steps to actively disconnect from treatment and social services.
Those decisions, ADA Mansfield said, led to the infant’s death.
Elizabethtown police determined Parrow had sole custody of the child at her East Orange Street apartment on the evening of July 16, 2018. The child appeared healthy earlier in the evening.
Police responded to the apartment just after 10 p.m. and found the child unresponsive, discolored and beyond help.
The child was transported to Hershey Medical Center where she was pronounced dead about an hour later.
At Monday’s hearing, Parrow’s mother told the judge of her daughter: “All she ever wanted to be was a mom.”
Parrow was pregnant at the time of her daughter’s death. She gave birth to a son, now in the care of a relative.
Judge Wright said the sentence he orders will not change what was lost.
“There is no victor,” Judge Wright said. “Nothing I do today… can bring solace to the bereaved.”
Elizabethtown police Detective Dustin Ryan, who filed charges, was in court for the sentencing.
Parrow pleaded to 3rd-degree murder, aggravated assault, and strangulation – all felonies.
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