Friday, September 27, 2013

Dad charged with aggravated manslaughter in death of 11-week-old daughter; allegedly threw her (Bridgeton, New Jersey)

Dad is identified as ANDREW RIEGLER. Wonder why there is so much uncertaintly here as to who the baby's mother was? The house the baby was carried out of is identified as Riegler's, not as the couple's. I'm guessing the mother did not live with the father, and that some kind of custody/visitation issue was at play here. But as usual, there is no clarification.

Prosecutors say Millville baby's fatal injuries caused when father threw her

Posted: Friday, September 27, 2013 10:32 am

By THOMAS BARLAS, Staff Writer

BRIDGETON – Andrew Rieger recklessly caused the death of his 11-week-old daughter in part by throwing the infant onto a couch at his home early on Sept. 12, prosecutors alleged in Superior Court here on Friday.

The infant then fell onto a wooden floor, suffering the head trauma that eventually caused her death at a hospital for children in Delaware two days later, Cumberland County Assistant Prosecutor Christina Aiello charged.

Aiello, speaking during Rieger’s arraignment in the Cumberland County courthouse here, did not comment to the court as to why the 25-year-old Millville man threw his daughter onto the couch. Aiello declined comment on that issue after the 10-minute court proceeding ended, saying she needed to further review the evidence in the case.

Rieger, of East Oak Road, is charged with aggravated manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child. He is being held in the Cumberland County jail here on $1 million cash bail. Rieger wore an orange jail jump suit while being arraigned on those charges before Superior Court Judge Robert Malestein.

Rieger appeared frightened as he stood next to his attorney, Vincent Pancari of Vineland, and made no statements to the court.

Aiello declined to provide a name for Rieger’s daughter, identifying her during the proceedings only as “A.R.”

Some of Rieger’s neighbors identified Rieger’s girlfriend as the child’s mother. They did not know her name.

Aiello would not identify the woman on Friday. Aiello said some members of the woman’s family were in the courtroom for Friday’s proceedings. Those family members were whisked out of the courtroom by staff from the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office after the arraignment ended and were taken to a small conference room. Those family members left the court house without comment.

Millville police said they first learned of the girl’s predicament when they were called to Inspira Medical Center Vineland at 5 a.m. on Sept. 12 to investigate reports of what they called the youth’s “suspicious injuries.” They said the baby had been taken to the medical center from Rieger’s home via ambulance, although they would not say who called for the ambulance.

The baby was eventually transported to Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., where she died on Sept. 14.

Rieger was originally charged with aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child, according to authorities. Rieger was charged with the offenses in Delaware after he went to the hospital in connection with the girl’s injuries, they said. Rieger was then lodged in the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington on $75,000 cash bail pending extradition to New Jersey, they said.

Rieger was charged with aggravated manslaughter on Sept. 16 after his daughter died. Rieger was also transferred from custody in Delaware to the county jail.

During Friday’s proceedings, Pancari entered pleas of not guilty on behalf Rieger. Vincari also said he had no comment regarding his client’s bail, a matter that would be dealt with later.

Pancari said the Prosecutor’s Office will give him all pre-indictment discovery, or evidence, regarding Rieger’s case.

“Right now, I don’t have anything in front of me,” Pancari said.