The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


August 28, 2013

Bertha Dreese guilty on all charges in death of her grandchild

SUNBURY - Bertha Dreese, the grandmother of the Sunbury baby who was left alone in a hot room for 19 hours, was found guilty of all charges on Tuesday afternoon.

Dreese was found guilty of reckless endangerment of a child and involuntary manslaughter by Northumberland County President Judge Robert Sacavage. Dreese, who now faces up to 30 years in prison, will be sentenced in 20 days. Dreese was placed in Northumberland County Prison in lieu of $50,000 cash bail.

Heidi Yocum testified the reason Dreese was at the home was because she would often help out with the three children who lived in the city home because Yocum didn’t trust Lopaka Loner, the child’s father.

Loner was sentenced in November by Sacavage to 11½ to 23 months in the Northumberland County Prison after pleading guilty to misdemeanors of endangering the welfare of children and recklessly endangering another person.

Dreese, who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, was scheduled to be sentenced in November, but changed her plea and decided to have a jury trial.

After a jury was selected, Dreese waived her right to the case being heard by the jury and a bench trial was ordered.


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