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Death of Infant Due to Co-Sleeping

Death of Infant Due to Co-Sleeping


Dynal M. Staines 

DEFENDANT:    Dylan Michael Staines (27 Years Old)
                           23 Britton Street
                           Douglassville, Pennsylvania 19518
CHARGES:        Involuntary Manslaughter
                           Endangering Welfare of Children
                           Possession of Schedule I Controlled Substance (Marijuana)
                           Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
On February 18, 2020, at approximately 9:58 P.M., Dylan Michael Staines, hereinafter referred to as the defendant, called 911 to report that his daughter was in cardiac / respiratory arrest and that he was administering CPR, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation.
The defendant is the biological father of the victim, identified as a (14) fourteen-month-old infant female. She was born November 27, 2018.
At approximately 10:05 P.M., in response to this 911 call, the first Amity Township Police Officer arrived at the scene, located at 23 Britton Street, Douglassville, Berks County, Pennsylvania.
At approximately 10:06 P.M., a Paramedic from Southern Berks Regional E.M.S. arrived at the residence and located the infant female lying on the floor inside the living room.
The Paramedic administered Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation and utilized an AED, Automated External Defibrillator, in an effort to revive this infant who was in cardiac arrest. Additional EMS personnel arrived at the scene and the infant was immediately transported via ambulance to the Trauma Unit at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center.
Shortly after arrival at the hospital, the infant passed away.
The mother of the infant was interviewed at the hospital and she stated her (14) fourteen-month-old daughter was in bed with the defendant for approximately (5) five minutes. When she returned to their bedroom, she found her daughter face down on the mattress underneath the blanket. She stated that the defendant began to administer CPR, while she called 911 from her cell phone.
The Amity Township Police Officers who arrived at the scene and met with the defendant and described his pupils as having “pin holes”, suspecting that he was under the influence of a controlled substance. There was also a strong odor of marijuana inside the residence.
Based on the observations and interaction between the Amity Township Police Officers and the defendant, the Berks County Detectives prepared a search warrant to collect a blood sample from the defendant. The search warrant was approved and issued by Magisterial District Judge Steven Chieffo. The search warrant was served upon the defendant and a blood sample was collected.
The blood sample was delivered to Penn State / St. Joseph’s Hospital laboratory for analysis and it was later determined that the blood sample tested positive for Fentanyl, Norfentanyl and THC.
The Berks County Detectives also obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s residence.
Detectives, as well as members of the Berks County District Attorney’s Forensic Services Unit, executed the search warrant and processed the crime scene. Pursuant to the search warrant,  Detectives seized marijuana, packaging material and paraphernalia, along with other items of evidence related to the investigation.
On February 20, 2020, Forensic Pathologist Dr. Supriya Kuruvilla performed an autopsy on the (14) fourteen-month-old infant at the Reading Hospital and Medical Center. Based on her examination along with the findings from the autopsy, Dr. Kuruvilla concluded that the cause of death was due to “Mechanical Asphyxia due to Overlay.” The manner of death was ruled Homicide.
On May 5, 2020, the Berks County Detectives filed criminal charges against the defendant at Magisterial District Judge Steven Chieffo’s Office and an arrest warrant was issued.
On May 6, 2020, at approximately 7:00 P.M., the defendant surrendered to the Berks County Detectives at the Amity Township Police Department. The defendant was taken into custody and he was immediately transported to the Central Processing Center and released into the custody of the Berks County Sheriff’s Department for processing.
The defendant was fingerprinted and photographed.
The defendant’s preliminary arraignment was held via video by Magisterial District Judge Kim Bagenstose. Bail was set at $150,000.00 and the defendant was committed to Berks County Jail pending his preliminary hearing which will be held at a later date.
As in every criminal case, the fact that an arrest has occurred or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation, and the defendant Dylan Staines, is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.