A Schuylkill Haven woman, who smothered her one year old son to death because he would not stop crying, pleaded nolle contendre (no defense) to charges of criminal homicide and aggravated assault and was sentenced to a long state jail term by a Schuylkill County judge Monday afternoon.
Jennifer Kimberly Bossler, 26, of 518 Schuylkill St., was sentenced by Judge Cyrus Palmer Dolbin to serve seven and 1/2 to 15 years in a state correctional institution and received credit for serving time in the county prison since her arrest last April 23. She also was ordered to undergo mental health evaluation.
Wiping away tears throughout most of the proceeding, Bossler told the judge she has been suffering mental and emotional disability for a long period and has been receiving treatment and that she does not recall the fatal incident.
Dolbin referred to the affidavit prepared by Pottsville Det. Steven B. Guers, which was prepared when she came to the police station and confessed. The affidavit states she told police her one year old son, James Blake Bonner, was crying and she was unable to stop him from crying and that he continued to cry when she placed him in the crib. She then turned the child over on his face and placed her hands on back of his head and pushed his head into the pillow until he stopped crying. The child died of suffocation.
"I have no recollection of anything that night," she told the judge. The judge questioned her at length to make sure she understood the proceedings in court. She stated she did. He told her by entering a nolle contendre plea means she is not admitting to the charges but that she is not contesting them either. She said she understood and that she wanted to proceed and did not wish a jury trial.