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February 26, 2016

Plea deal offered to South Jersey mom in burned baby case

Dorvilier has until Monday to take the deal or proceed to trial on charges she burned her newborn to death

Courts Murder trial
Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier babykiller BURLINGTON COUNTY//CONTRIBUTED ART

Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, accused of burning her infant daughter to death last January, has until Monday to accept a plea deal and avoid going to trial for murder. Terms of the deal offer have not been disclosed.

A Burlington County woman who allegedly burned her newborn to death last January soon after giving birth at her Pemberton Township home is weighing a plea deal.

Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 23, of Rutgers Avenue, Pemberton Township, has until 9 a.m. Monday to decide if she will take a deal – the terms were not disclosed publicly – or proceed to trial, according to a spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.

Burlington County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor James Ronca disclosed the offer during a brief appearance by Dorvilier at the Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly on Thursday.

If Dorvilier skips the deal, goes to trial and is found guilty of murder, she could face life in prison.

Dorvilier’s attorney has said she may seek an insanity defense.

If a deal is not reached Monday before Superior Court Judge Terrence R. Cook, a pretrial conference likely will be held by April. A trial date could be scheduled then if a deal is not reached.

Dorvilier is being held on $500,000 bail at the Atlantic County jail, where female inmates from Burlington County are housed.

Dorvilier faces charges of first-degree murder and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and her case drew national attention.

She is alleged to have set her baby on fire on Jan. 16, 2015, on rural Simontown Road in Pemberton.

A nearby family noticed a fire outside their home at about 11 p.m. that night.

When they went to investigate, Dorvilier allegedly told them she was burning dog feces and poured water on the flames. Neighbor David Joseph then reportedly heard a baby crying.

Dorvilier allegedly tried to run, but Joseph held her to the ground while his wife called police.

The child, posthumously named Angelica, died at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. The autopsy showed the infant died of burns and smoke inhalation.