News

Midstate parents waive hearing in crib suffocation death

Written by The Associated Press | Sep 1, 2017 8:24 AM
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Courtney Stash and Justin J. Dwyer were jailed Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017, on charges including involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault for the April 25, 2017, death of one of their triplets born on Christmas 2014, a son named Eoin, who police say suffocated after the Pennsylvania couple strapped a mattress to his crib using bungee cords and bags of ice melt to prevent him from crawling out. (Lebanon County Correctional Facility via AP)

(Myerstown) -- A midstate couple has waived their right to a preliminary hearing on charges they tied and weighting down a mattress on top of their son's crib so he couldn't climb out, leading him to suffocate.

Thursday's waiver means 29-year-old Justin Dwyer and 28-year-old Courtney Stash must now stand trial or enter a plea deal on involuntary manslaughter and other counts in the April death of their 2-year-old son.

Detectives say the Myerstown couple put two 50-pound bags of rock salt on the mattress and secured it with bungee cords to keep the boy -- one of triplets -- from climbing out of the crib.

Police say the boy suffocated when his head got caught between the crib and overlying mattress, but that the couple didn't report that when they called 911 to say they found the boy unresponsive. Rather, their 8-year-old son later told police how the couple had secured the crib.

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