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Mahwah Parents Indicted On Murder Charges Suffocated Crying Newborn To Death, Prosecutor Says

William Herring, Brianna Brochhausen
William Herring, Brianna Brochhausen Photo Credit: COURTESY: Burlington County Prosecutor's Office

Mahwah parents were indicted on murder charges after suffocating their crying 4-month-old twin son to death with a motel room comforter, authorities said.

William Herring, 42 and Brianna Brochhausen, 23, had been living at the Hilltop Motel on Route 68 in Springfield at the time of the incident in February 2018, the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.

Both were indicted by a grand jury on charges of murder and child endangerment (two counts).

The investigation began when paramedics and Springfield police officers were called to the motel on the night of Valentine's Day, on a report of an infant who had stopped breathing, the prosecutor said.

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’,” a joint release issued by the New Jersey State Police and Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina says.

“He was positioned on his stomach on the bed, and the comforter was pulled over him, covering his head and entire body,” the release says. “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 had minimal brain activity and was breathing with the assistance of a respirator,” the release says.

He died March 3 after life support was removed.

The indictment was returned May 16 and signed by Prosecutor Scott A. Coffina. An arraignment will be scheduled in Superior Court in Mount Holly.

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