WALLINGTON, N.J. — A New Jersey father whose infant daughter died three days after a home birth last year has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and child endangerment charges.
Joseph Chmielewski told a judge Wednesday that he and his wife abused heroin during the pregnancy and never sought prenatal care. The 41-year-old Wallington man now faces a four-year prison term, but it’s not clear if he’ll testify against his wife should she go to trial.
Authorities responded to the couple’s apartment in February 2018 after a 911 caller reported an unresponsive infant in distress. The girl later died at a hospital, but a cause of death has not been disclosed.
Chmielewski’s lawyer said in court that the infant’s blood tested positive for heroin and cocaine.