A magistrate threw out the most serious charge against the West Deer couple charged with concealing the death of their infant son after a hotel maid found what police say was a note about their plan to kill themselves.
Investigators said Nicole Dull, 31, and James Victor, 52, were arrested Aug. 18 at the Super 8 Motel in Butler.
They were originally charged with abuse of a corpse, concealing the death of a child and criminal conspiracy, but on Wednesday a West Deer magistrate threw out the charge of abuse of a corpse.
“It’s difficult to cope while in jail. To grieve while in jail is brutal,” Dull’s attorney Kevin Abramovitz said.
Authorities said they tracked down Dull and Victor after a maid at the Avalon Hotel on Route 65 in the North Side found a note in their room saying their 5-week-old baby had died in his sleep Wednesday and they attempted suicide as a result.
According to a criminal complaint, the couple said they put the baby to sleep in his crib in their West Deer home around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Around 1:30 a.m. the couple said the baby was cold and not breathing, and CPR didn't revive him.
Investigators said Victor told them they didn't want to report the death because they thought prior involvement with social workers would result in them being blamed.
Defense attorney Blaine Jones admitted Wednesday that the couple should have immediately called 911 when they found their son unresponsive, but said the parents couldn’t part with their dead child.
“His bond went from $75,000 to zero. Today was a very good day,” Jones said. “He was in disbelief. He couldn’t believe this happened. Perhaps in a different state of mine, he would have taken a different course of action.”
A condition of their bond is both parents will have to enter a county facility to receive mental health treatment.