Parents receive criminal charges after their baby died of fentanyl overdose

Daniel S. Howarth has been found guilty of child endangerment, illicit substance possession, and drug paraphernalia possession. The judgment came after a two-day trial presided over by Judge Gary B. Gilman, as informed by District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.

The trial involved the testimony of Bensalem police officers who had attended a distress call on January 7, 2022, about an infant in cardiac arrest at an Oak Avenue residence.

In the courtroom, law enforcement body camera footage was presented, capturing the frantic efforts of officers and paramedics as they attempted to revive the infant. Disturbing images were also shown, depicting the unkempt state of the home, littered with garbage, dirty dishes, old food, and drug-related items. The images showed baggies, syringes, and a tourniquet, all discovered in the baby’s bedroom.

Judge Gilman, deeply affected by the evidences, expressed that the appalling conditions of the house left little chance for the baby’s survival.

Tragically, the infant was discovered unresponsive on the living room floor around noon that day. Despite immediate medical intervention at the scene, the child was later declared dead at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne.

It was said in the autopsy that the cause of death was “adverse effects of fentanyl,” as stated by the prosecutors.

Both Howarth and the child’s mother, Felicity Westmoreland, were inside of the house during the incident. The suspected drug paraphernalia found in their bedroom later tested positive for fentanyl and cocaine residues.

Felicity Westmoreland had previously admitted to charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. This resulted in Westmoreland receiving a sentence of 11.5 to 23 months in prison, followed by a three-year probation period. As for Howarth, his sentence was set at just under one to two years, coupled with a five-year probation term.

Donna Westmoreland, the infant’s grandmother and designated foster mother, was also implicated in the case. Despite having received a Shelter Care Order from the Bucks County Juvenile Dependency Court, which prohibited her from leaving the child alone with his parents, she was charged and later pled guilty to child endangerment. This resulted in her receiving a one-year probation term.