Bucks County father found guilty in overdose death of 4-month-old son

"That was one of the worst things I've seen in my life," the judge said.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2023

BENSALEM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A 26-year-old man was convicted of child endangerment on Tuesday for the overdose death of his 4-month-old son last year in Bensalem.

Daniel Scott Howarth was found guilty on charges of child endangerment, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The incident first began on January 7, 2022, when Bensalem police were dispatched to a home on Oak Avenue on a report of an infant in cardiac arrest.

Officials say the 4-month-old boy was found unresponsive in the living room of the home.

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Police and paramedics attempted life-saving measures and transported the boy to the St. Mary Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy later revealed the presence of fentanyl in the child's blood and the cause of death was determined to be adverse effects of fentanyl.

Investigators later found that the infant's parents, Howarth and the child's mother Felicity Westmoreland, were in the home when the baby died.

Drug paraphernalia located in their bedroom tested positive for the presence of fentanyl and cocaine.

During Howarth's two-day trial, emotional bodycam footage was played, showing emergency crews attempting to save the baby.

Photos were also presented that showed a home littered with trash, dirty dishes, and old food. There were also drug baggies, syringes, and a tourniquet inside the bedroom where the baby slept, according to officials.

"That was one of the worst things I've seen in my life," the judge said. "Looking at that house, that baby never had a chance."

Felicity Westmoreland and the baby's grandmother were also charged in the case.

Donna Westmoreland, the grandmother, pleaded guilty to child endangerment and was sentenced to one-year probation.

Officials say she was previously prohibited by county officials to leave the baby alone with his parents. She violated the order when she allowed the baby to be unsupervised on January 7.

Felicity Westmoreland previously pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. She was sentenced to 11-and-a-half to 23 months in county jail followed by three years probation.