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††††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† *News Release* †† ††††††Date: May 1, 2009 †††††††††††

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Piscataway woman sentenced in childís death

 

 

††††††††† Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced that a Piscataway woman was sentenced today to serve up to 15 years in a New Jersey state prison for drowning her 9-month-old daughter in their home last year.

 

††††††††† Wella Eng, (DOB 11/23/73) was sentenced to the term in New Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Frederick DeVesa, who said the defendant must serve at least 85 percent of the term before she can be eligible for parole. The judge also reduced the term by 477 days Eng has already spent in custody since her arrest.

 

Eng was sentenced after she previously pleaded guilty to a count of aggravated manslaughter, admitting she placed Lauren Eng face down in a bathtub at the home at 2 Camelot Court on January 10, 2008, knowingly ignoring the risk that it could lead to her death.

 

When police arrived in response to a 911 call at 4:44 p.m., the infant was unresponsive and was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where she died on January 11, 2008, at 3:39 p.m.

 

Eng was charged with the homicide following an investigation by Sgt. Dave Powell of the Piscataway Police Department and Sgt. George Trillhaase of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office.

 

Eng also was sentenced today to five years for endangering the welfare of the child. Eng previously admitted that she parked her vehicle in a shopping center parking lot in Piscataway and left the infant alone in the vehicle on Nov. 28, 2007.

 

 

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The judge said the penalty for the child endangerment will be served concurrently with the aggravated manslaughter term.

 

Eng was charged originally with murder and two counts of endangering the welfare of the child, but under negotiations with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Christie Bevacqua, the defendant waived trial and pleaded guilty February 6, 2009, to aggravated manslaughter and one child endangerment count.

 

Eng had agreed to serve a 20-year prison term as part of the plea negotiations, but the judge imposed 15 years, saying that while Eng was fit to stand trial, she had a history of mental illness and depression.

 

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Note to editors: Questions may be directed to Jim O'Neill, public information officer, at (732) 745-3437.