HONESDALE — The mother of a newborn baby girl, who was killed by her father minutes after her birth in 2011, learned her fate for not doing enough to save the little girl.
Jennifer Barrise was sentenced to seven to 14 years behind bars.
She pleaded guilty back in September to third degree murder.
On Thursday, the judge told her she knew her boyfriend Christopher Fitzpatrick was going to kill their baby, and she did nothing to stop it.
“I love my baby girl very much,” said Jennifer Barrise.
With that, Jennifer Barrise was put into a Wayne County sheriff’s van and taken to prison, where she will serve up to 14 years behind bars for the 2011 murder of her newborn daughter, Jacklyn Amber Barrise.
That is not what the prosecution had hoped for.
“Based on the brutality of this crime and the murder of an infant and involvement and inaction of this defendant that justice would have been served best by this defendant spending 20 years in state prison,” said Janine Edwards, Wayne County District Attorney.
Prosecutors said after Barrise gave birth to her daughter in a car last year, she let the baby drop to the floor. She let the baby’s father Christopher Fitzpatrick cover it with a sweatshirt, and she let him take the newborn to the woods near Hamlin, and crush the baby’s head with a cinder block.
However, her defense attorney argued that Barrise has a low IQ and poor reasoning skills, and that she was abused and threatened by Fitzpatrick.
He said Fitzpatrick didn’t let Barrise even touch the baby that night. He took the baby away and he killed her.
“She was ultimately not the perpetrator of the murder, but was essentially at fault for not preventing it,” said Steven Burlein, Barrise’s attorney.
In court Barrise spoke out.
In tears, she said she was afraid of Fitzpatrck, and that he abused and threatened her.
She lost her baby because of him, and she was truly sorry for her actions.
“I can’t explain the pain in my heart for my daughter, it is so great. I can’t describe how much I miss my baby girl,” said Barrise.
In the end the judge did believe that Barrise was controlled by Fitzpatrick, calling him a monster.
He said he did not think she was evil-spirited, but he did believe she knew what he was going to do.
“That is a reckless decision to not intercede and save her life. You could have, you should have and you did not,” said Judge Raymond Hamill.
The baby’s father, Christopher Fitzpatrick, is serving a life sentence without parole for her murder.
Barrise will serve her sentence of up to 14 years in a state prison.