The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 15, 2013

Woman gets 1- to 5-year state prison term in baby's death

— SUNBURY — Heidi Yocum arrived at the Northumberland County Courthouse on Monday expecting to be placed on probation for her role in the 2010 death of her 1-year-old daughter, Aneela Loner.

The 29-year-old Lewisburg woman, now a straight-A student at Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport, previously entered a plea to reckless endangerment of a child for the tragic incident inside a Sunbury home on Oct. 16, 2010, when she left her baby daughter unattended for 19 hours in a small room heated with a space heater. Investigators said the child’s body temperature increased to a point at which she suffered hyperthermia and died.

County Judge Charles Saylor accepted Yocum’s guilty plea, but he didn’t accept the sentencing conditions she and her attorney, Edward “E.J.” Rymsza, of Williamsport, fought to secure.

A plea arrangement between Northumberland County Adult Probation and Yocum called for her to receive probation for up to five years.

Saylor disagreed and sentenced Yocum to 12 to 60 months in a state prison.

“I want to say there is nothing that will take the pain away,” Yocum said before her sentencing. “This nightmare will never go away, and I accept responsibility for this and I have to live with this for the rest of my life.”


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