On November 12, 2019, Port Jervis City Police Officers responded to the scene of a horrific incident in a vacant parking lot, where a newborn baby was found deceased.  In February of 2020 the infant's mother, Nicole H. Layman was charged with murder, and in March, arraigned in an Orange County Court on an indictment in connection with the death of the newborn.  This past Friday, December 10th, the now 23 year old Layman, pleaded guilty in an Orange County Courtroom to Manslaughter in the Second Degree.

According to the press release from the Orange County District Attorney's Office:

 

Pursuant to the plea agreement placed on the record at the time that Layman pleaded guilty, the District Attorney’s Office will recommend that she be sentenced to five to fifteen years in state prison when she is sentenced on February 28, 2022. Layman remains remanded to the Orange County Jail in lieu of bail in the amount of $500,000 cash, $3,000,000 secured bond or $5,000,000 partially secured bond.

Back in November of 2019 the night the baby was found in the vacant lot adjacent to Hornbeck Avenue in Port Jervis, an investigation determined that the infant had been born that same night, and the cause of death was exposure to the elements.  Further investigation included a search warrant execution at Layman's residence, an autopsy of the deceased newborn, and further laboratory analysis of tissue samples obtained during the autopsy.

In addition to the City of Port Jervice Police Department, aid was provided by NY State Police, the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

In her December 10th 2021 guilty plea, Nicole Layman admitted to having just given birth to the baby girl, and left her exposed to the elements without notifying anyone.

The Orange County DA reinforced the importance of the resources and help available for those in Orange County who believe they are unable to care for their children.

The individual circumstances surrounding an offender’s state of mind, including their capacity to truly appreciate the seriousness of their offense beforehand, and whether or not they engaged in extensive planning, are all proper sentencing considerations.  While consigning an infant to die of exposure is, by definition, unnecessary, illegal, and barbaric, I believe that a sentence of five to fifteen years in state prison in this case would strike a just balance between the seriousness of the conduct, and some mitigating factors attributable to this particular defendant.

 

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