Man Wanted Baby Aborted, Crushed Her Head After Birth

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 18, 2012   |   4:32PM   |   Scranton, PA

A Pennsylvania man who wanted his girlfriend to have an abortion and wound up crushing his baby daughter’s skull shortly after her birth, is heading to prison for life without the possibility of parole.

When Jennifer Barrise became pregnant, she and her boyfriend Chris Fitzpatrick, both of whom struggle with mental disabilities, discussed abortion and adoption. Yet, upon the baby’s birth, Fitzpatrick made an instant decision to crush her head with a cinder block, claiming her life. He buried her body and, upon discovery, he was charged with murder and Barrise with homicide for not attempting to stop Fitzpatrick.

Prosecutors accepted a guilty plea from Fitzpatrick in exchange for him testifying against Barrise in the state’s case against her, according to local television reports.

“I’m not sure that remorse, or mitigation, or anything, would affect or excuse his act of killing the baby in this case,” said Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards.

The baby girl, named Jacklyn only for her death certificate, is still remembered in the spot where her body was found. People in that part of Wayne County said they will always remember this case, also that life in prison for the Jacklyn’s killer is the best possible outcome.

“How can a baby that’s just an hour, two hours old, really express itself? Hopefully it is, hopefully it is justice,” said Janet Schultz of Hamlin.

Baby Jacklyn would have been a year old on May 28. Her mother, Jennifer Barrise, is scheduled to stand trial for homicide in October. Part of Chris Fitzpatrick’s plea deal requires him to testify against her.