Port Jervis mom goes to prison for leaving newborn to die in vacant lot

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GOSHEN – The Port Jervis woman who left her newborn baby to die in a vacant lot in that city was sentenced in Orange County Court on Monday to four to 15 years in state prison.

The district attorney’s office recommended to the court Nicole Layman, 23, be sentenced to five to 15 years in connection with her guilty plea to manslaughter.

On the night of November 12, 2019, Port Jervis officers found the baby in a vacant lot adjacent to Hornbeck Avenue in that city. Investigation revealed the baby girl had been born that night and died of exposure to the elements.

At the time Layman pled guilty, she admitted to having just given birth and leaving the child exposed to the elements without notifying anyone.

“While consigning an infant to die of exposure is, by definition, inexcusable, illegal, and barbaric, I believe a sentence of five to 15 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,” said District Attorney David Hoovler. “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.”

The DA said everyone should be aware that help is available in Orange County for those who are unable to care for their children.”

Assisting in the investigation into the infant’s death were Port Jervis Police, State Police, and the Orange County Medical Examiner’s and DA’s offices.