A Lancaster County mother is facing felony charges for her role in her infant’s death earlier this year.
Kayla Marie Breniser, 27, of East Petersburg, fell asleep while holding her 1-month old daughter on April 14 at her home on Valley Road in East Petersburg. While sleeping, Breniser rolled over onto the girl, causing her death, police said.
During an interview with police, Breniser admitted she smoked marijuana the night of the incident, which contributed to her falling asleep while holding the child. Assistant District Attorney Christopher Sarno said in a statement that the child died of asphyxia.
Breniser told police she smoked marijuana throughout her pregnancy and after the infant was born, in addition to the night the infant died. The baby tested positive for cannabinoids and amphetamines when she was born. Breniser agreed to a blood test the day the baby died and was found to have high levels of cannabinoids in her system, according to charging documents.
Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said in a statement that none of the evidence gathered indicates the death was intentional. Addressing the role of marijuana in the child’s death, Stedman said the drug is more potent than in the past and causes permanent brain damage to the user, which “in this case resulted in the senseless and preventable death of an innocent child.”
“The choice to use marijuana while responsible for the life and care of a helpless infant was intentional and the price immeasurable in this case,” Stedman said.
Breniser is charged with felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 4. Breniser is free on unsecured bail.