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The original item was published from 10/26/2016 2:19:23 PM to 12/10/2016 5:05:01 PM.

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District Attorney

Posted on: October 26, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Case of Mother Charged in Infant’s Sleeping Death Headed for Lancaster County Court

Jessica Harper

A Peach Bottom woman will be tried in Lancaster County Court for allegedly causing her infant son’s death in July.

Jessica Harper, 28, waived a preliminary hearing Oct. 20 on counts of criminal homicide, involuntary manslaughter and endangering a child. In turn, District Judge Stuart Mylin ordered Harper be tried on those counts in County Court.

Harper is at Lancaster County Prison without bail. She signed paperwork, regarding the waiver, at the prison, according to Assistant District Attorney Christopher Sarno.

The 2-month old boy was found dead July 12 at Harper’s home in the 2600 block Robert Fulton Highway, Fulton Township.

An autopsy determined the boy died of asphyxiation as he slept in a bed with his mother. The death was ruled a homicide.

The boy was Harper’s second child to die of asphyxiation. Another son, also a 2-month-old, died in Maryland in 2011 under similar circumstances.

Regarding the Lancaster County case, the investigation revealed Harper was warned numerous times by multiple medical professionals not to have the infant sleep in a bed next to her; Harper ignored those directives.

Sarno, lead prosecutor, will pursue a third-degree murder conviction.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Linda Gerow filed charges.

Harper is presumed innocent.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041;; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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