Honesdale, Wayne County - A mother who pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for the death of her newborn infant last year in Wayne County is going to prison.
Jennifer Barrise was sentenced Thursday afternoon to between seven and 14 years in prison.
While the sentence was in the guideline range, it was significantly less than what prosecutors were asking for.
Prosecutors say in May 2011, Barrise gave birth to a newborn while inside a car and didn't even pick the baby up. Her boyfriend has admitted to using a cinder block to kill the newborn.
The newborn was named "Jaqueline Amber" only for the purposes of her death certificate.
"This is a horrific crime, there's no other way to describe it but I think ultimately based upon her role in this, limited role in this, I think it was justified what he (the judge) did," defense attorney Steven Burlein said.
Barrise's boyfriend, Christopher Fitzpatrick, pleaded guilty to actually causing the baby's death. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Prosecutors also charged Barrise because they say she did nothing to stop the murder.
Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards was asking for a much stiffer sentence.
"It was my opinion, based on the brutality of this crime and the murder of an infant baby and the involvement and the inaction of this defendent that justice would have been served best by this defendent spending 20 years in state prison," Edwards said.
While the judge faulted Barrise for her inaction, he placed more blame on Fitzpatrick, calling him "controlling" and "evil."
The judge felt Barrise was under his control. He said Barrise was "fearful" and "isolated" and she probably didn't mean the newborn any harm.
"There isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't think about what happened and what she could have done," Burlein said.
Leaving court, Barrise said she loved her daughter very much.
While Thursday's sentence wasn't what District Attorney Janine Edwards wanted, she feels justice has been done.
"To avoid two trials and to have both defendents plead to murder is justice for that baby girl," Edwards said.
In court, Barrise spoke for five minutes, crying the entire time. She said she has "found God" while in prison.
Barrise has several other children.
The judge explained he thought her life was so controlled by highlighting the fact that she had never been to the grocery store alone, went clothes shopping alone or even scheduled a doctor's appointment for herself.