A New Jersey father who is accused of smothering his four-month-old son to death shocked police by flashing a big grin in his July 17 jailhouse mugshot.
The New Jersey State Police arrested William Herring, 42, and charged him with the murder of his baby son, four-month-old Hunter Brochhausen, who was found unresponsive on February 14, Fox 5 reported.
Police also charged the child’s mother, Mahwah, New Jersey, resident Brianna Brochhausen, with the same charges in the boy’s death.
The couple explained that they were punishing the child for crying in a Springfield Township motel room by placing him face down on a bed and then piling all the blankets and pillows on top of him. The couple said they then left the room for a smoke break. They later found the child unresponsive and called an ambulance.
The child never recovered from the February 14 incident and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. He was removed from life-support on March 3.
“The thoughtless actions of these individuals ended up costing a defenseless four-month-old infant his life,” New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan said in a Facebook post.
“The responsibilities of becoming a new parent can sometimes be overwhelming,” Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina added in a press release. “Those who find themselves at a point of crisis when caring for a newborn child should know that help is available, and they must seek that help rather than taking actions that might harm their child.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.