Middletown woman charged in death of her 2-month-old son held over for trial

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Arissa Ward

HARRISBURG — A Middletown woman charged in the death of her 2-month-old son waived her preliminary hearing and will be formally arraigned on Sept. 1, court documents say.

Arissa Ward, 23, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children. Police say that on December 30, 2016, officers were summoned to Ward’s home on the 300 block of Lawrence Street in Middletown for a reported infant death. Ward reportedly told police that she had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana before lying down with her two-month-old son. She said she thought she rolled over on him, court records state.

An autopsy performed on the infant showed the baby had marijuana in his system and his death was caused by complications from traumatic asphyxia combined with smothering.

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