Judge Rules Grandmother Guilty In Baby’s Death

SUNBURY — A judge in Northumberland County found a 65-year-old grandmother guilty Tuesday on charges connected to the death of a baby who was supposed to be in her care.

Bertha Dreese was on trial last week for involuntary manslaughter.  A judge ruled Tuesday that Dreese is guilty, saying she played a role in the death of 1-year-old Aneela Loner who died after being left alone for more than 20 hours.

Bertha Dreese, 65, walked into the Northumberland County Courthouse with her friends and familybut she left in handcuffs.  Dreese was on trial last week on charges related to her infant granddaughter’s death. 

A judge found her guilty of all charges, including involuntary manslaughter.

According to investigators, Dreese was supposed to be watching the child in October of 2010 at a home in Sunbury. 

Police say the child died when she was left alone for more than 20 hours.  The child was placed in her crib next to a space heater and died of heat exposure.

The baby’s parents, Heidi Yocum and Lopaka Loner pleaded guilty in 2011 to reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child.  The father was sentenced to 11.5 months in Northumberland County Prison and the mother must serve at least one year in state prison. 

Bertha Dreese faces a maximum of 30 years in jail. 

The judge in Northumberland County plans to sentence her within 20 days.