A New Jersey jury returned a guilty verdict to a Sicklervilled mother of three who killed her 1-year-old son after, according to prosecutors, the child got in the way of her affair.
According to the Camden Daily Voice, 44-year-old Heather Reynolds was convicted by a Camden County jury last week for murder, methamphetamine possession, and endangering the welfare of a child.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Reynolds suffocated her son, 17-month-old Axel, by holding a cleaning wipe over his mouth and nose. The incident happened in May 2018, at Reynold’s home off of Marcia Court in Gloucester Township.
According to officials, shortly after the victim passed out, Reynolds ran out of her home while holding him in her arms and screaming for help. First responders found Axel unconscious on the front lawn. Prosecutors said the victim smelled like alcohol and had a bruise on his face.
Although it took prosecutors a year to charge Reynolds, she had been a suspect since the victim’s death.
“This was an absolutely brutal murder and a helpless victim,” Assistant Prosecutor Peter Gallagher said in 2019.
Reynolds’ defense lawyer, Michael Testa, Sr., previously argued that although Reynolds was addicted to drugs, she never harmed her child.
Prosecutors, however, said that text messages found on Reynolds’ phone and witness’ interviews indicated that while her boyfriend was losing interest, Reynolds complained that Axel had gotten in the way of her relationship.
“A review of the text messages between the defendant and her boyfriend from the previous night reveal that the defendant was becoming frustrated by the boyfriend’s apparent lack of interest,” Gallagher said.
“And witnesses also told detectives that the defendant had expressed the sentiment that her toddler son, the victim A.R., was an obstacle to her relationship with her boyfriend.”
Axel’s father, Joseph Reynolds, was away on a work trip when this son died. Months later, in November, the boy’s father also passed away. According to his obituary, Joseph “passed away suddenly.”
On the night before Axel’s death, prosecutors said Reynolds’ boyfriend stayed the night with her, but left before she took her son outside and yelled for help.
Blood tests later confirmed that the baby had traces of isopropyl alcohol and acetone in his body. His death was listed as asphyxia after “a wipe containing isopropyl alcohol and detergent was placed over the mouth and nose.”
“A lot of people worked very hard to get justice for this child. I’m grateful for their efforts and appreciate the time and attention that the jury gave this case,” CCPO Homicide Section Chief Peter Gallagher said after the conviction.
Reynolds’ sentencing has been scheduled for October 2022.
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[Featured image: Facebook/Heather Reynolds]