Orange County News
For Immediate Release Contact: Christopher Borek
December 10, 2021 845.291.3276, 845.238.4245c
District Attorney David M. Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea
in Death of Newborn
Port Jervis Woman Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter for
Killing Newborn by Abandoning her in Vacant Lot
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Friday, December 10, 2021, Nicole H. Layman, 23, of Port Jervis, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to Manslaughter in the Second Degree. The plea was in connection with the death of a newborn infant found in a vacant lot in Port Jervis in November 2019. 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.
On the night of November 12, 2019, City of Port Jervis Police Officers responded to a report of a deceased infant found in a vacant lot adjacent to Hornbeck Avenue, in the City of Port Jervis. Upon their arrival police officers observed the body of a newborn baby. Subsequent investigation revealed that the baby girl had been born that night and had died of exposure to the elements.
An investigation was conducted by the City of Port Jervis Police Department, who were aided by the New York State Police, the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The investigation included executing a search warrant at Layman’s residence, conducting an autopsy on the deceased infant, and obtaining laboratory analysis of tissue samples obtained during the autopsy.
At the time that Layman pleaded guilty, she admitted that she had just given birth to the infant and had left the newborn exposed to the elements, without notifying anyone.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the City of Port Jervis Police Department, for their investigation and the arrest of Layman, as well as the New York State Police and the Office of the Orange County Medical Examiner, who assisted in the investigation.
“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,” District Attorney David Hoovler. “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. It is important that everyone be aware that help is available within Orange County for those who believe they are unable to care for their children. I am grateful to the City of Port Jervis Police Department for their tireless actions in pursuing this investigation.”
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Julie Mohl.
This criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.