Couple guilty in Smithfield baby’s death sent to jail

LOGAN — A judge has sentenced a couple, guilty in the death of their young baby, to jail saying the accident is a tragic reminder that drugs and alcohol affect more than just those who use them.

First District Judge Kevin Allen sentenced 24-year-old Michael Archer to 90-days in jail and 22-year-old Jessica Brunetti to 60-days in jail. Both had previously pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, a class A misdemeanor, in the death of their daughter.

Judge Allen told Brunetti that throughout milestones in her life she will ask herself the question, “What if?” He expressed hope that she would use the tragedy to become a better person. If she doesn’t, he warned that those moments would become even more painful.

Later, Judge Allen told Archer that as a man and a father, he couldn’t even comprehend not taking care of his children. He expressed hope for the defendant saying, how he lives his life going forward will tell the world how this tragedy had affected him. He said, “You can rise above this and be a better man.”

Early on the morning of February 22, 2016, police said they received a 911 call that the 11-week-old baby was unresponsive. The girl was found on the floor, in a bedroom of a home, located near 160 E. 400 N. in Smithfield. CPR and other life-saving measures were tried unsuccessfully by the Archer and Brunetti, and later by paramedics when they arrived.

The couple reportedly told officers that they had been drinking earlier in the night when they went to sleep with the baby on a twin size bed. Investigators later found THC in Archers system and Brunetti under the influence of marijuana.

State medical examiners later determined the baby had died from asphyxiation.

During Monday’s sentencing, Brunetti said 2016 was a horrible year that she wanted to put behind her so she can be a better mom for her other son. She told the court how she was trying to get a job and spend more time with her family.

Archer later said he also wanted to do better.

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