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February 29, 2016

South Jersey mom pleads guilty to setting baby on fire

Crime Homicide
Burlington Crime Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier File Art /Burlington County Police Department

Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier, 22, of Rutgers Avenue in Pemberton, was charged with murder for setting her baby daughter on fire Jan. 16, 2015, police say.

A Burlington County woman pleaded guilty Monday to setting her newborn daughter on fire.

Hyphernkemberly Dorvilier's plea was part of a deal offered by prosecutors on Friday. She previously pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

The Associated Press reported Dorvilier, 23, of Rutgers Avenue, Pemberton Township, entered the new guilty plea to aggravated manslaughter during an appearance at the Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly, New Jersey.

Dorvilier faced life in prison if convicted of murder. As a result of the plea, prosecutors will recommend she be sentenced to 30 years in prison during her sentencing hearing on April 22, according to the AP.

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

A nearby family noticed the 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.

One of the neighbor's reportedly heard a baby crying. Dorvilier allegedly tried to flee the scene, but the neighbor 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 third-degree burns she suffered to more than 60 percent of her body and smoke inhalation.