Mother Charged with Homicide after Death of 2nd Infant

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — A mother charged five years ago in the suffocation death of one child is now facing a criminal homicide charge in the death of a second child in Pennsylvania.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jessica Harper was arraigned Thursday in Lancaster County in the July death of her 2-month-old son. Authorities allege that Harper “chose to disregard the risks” despite warnings about sleeping with a newborn.

Prosecutors cited the January 2011 death of another 2-month-old son who suffocated on a Maryland couch. The Cecil Whig reported that after the death was ruled accidental, Harper pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of contributing to conditions that caused a child to be in need of assistance.

Court documents don’t list a defense attorney. Harper remains jailed and a listed number for her couldn’t be found Saturday.

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