A 23-year-old resident was again indicted Tuesday on a murder charge in connection with the death of her newborn child.
Keri Barry was indicted on first-degree murder charges, endangering the welfare of a child and hindering apprehension, a press release issued today by the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office said. Barry was previously indicted in April 2010 on those same charges. Judge Greta Gooden-Brown dismissed the first indictment in March on the grounds that the “previous grand jurors may not have been fully questioned as to any knowledge that may have read about the case in internet postings that had accompanied on-line press articles about the case,” the prosecutor’s office said in the release.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office stated in the release that Barry, then 22, gave birth to a “full-term” baby Dec. 11, 2009 at her Wayne home. According to the release, an autopsy determined the child was born alive and died of asphyxiation.
The statement said that when Barry’s family learned that something was physically wrong with her, they took her to Chilton Hospital in Pompton Plains. The release stated that hospital staff realized Barry had recently given birth and were concerned about the baby, which could not be located; Barry never informed either her family or hospital staff that she had given birth.
The Wayne Police Department searched Barry’s home, with consent, and collected garbage bags where the afterbirth was alleged to have been placed, the release stated. The dead baby was found in the bags, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The murder charge carries a potential life sentence. Endangering the welfare of a child carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Hindering apprehension carries a maximum five-year sentence.
Barry is currently free after posting $150,000 bail.
Senior Assistant Prosecutor Robert Pringle declined to comment on the case beyond the facts that were issued in the release.