Parent arrested for child abuse; neglect resulting in death

September 24, 2013

 Rachel Baldwin


WILLIAMSON - A three-year infant death case was wrapped up on Monday after the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) received the official cause of death and autopsy report of a one month-old child from the WV State Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston.
Jennifer Lynn Harmon, 42, of Newtown, turned herself in after she was notified by MCSD Chief Field Deputy Joe Smith that a warrant for child abuse/neglect resulting in death had been filed against her.
According to the original criminal complaint filed on Sept, 20, 2010 and signed by Smith and Deputy J. Endicott, the defendant had allegedly (by her own testimony) consumed approximately 6 beers before retiring for the night, and was sleeping in the same bed as her one year-old son, Brier Harmon. Harmon stated that she woke up about 4 a.m. and discovered that her infant son was no longer breathing and had passed away. Reports that were recently released to the investigating officers ruled that the death “was due to accidental overlay associated with bed-sharing with an adult caretaker who disclosed having abused alcoholic beverages on the night prior to the child’s death”.
Harmon was arraigned before Mingo County Magistrate Pam Newsome on Monday afternoon, and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. The defendant repeatedly interrupted the magistrate as she read the complaint, denying that she had anything to do with her son’s death and began crying uncontrollably. Further into the hearing, Harmon began cursing in a loud voice and became very agitated before she was transported to the Southwestern Regional Jail at Holden by MCSD S. Smith.
“That’s a lie – that’s a lie!” exclaimed the defendant during her arraignment. “I lost a son. My son died in my bed and it wasn’t my fault. I kept a clean house, I kept a nice house and I wouldn’t do that to my son.”
Harmon was remanded to jail on a $25,000 full-cash bond, where she will remain until her preliminary hearing or until which time she meets the conditions and requirements of her bond.