National News

Woman Convicted in Death of Child in Schuylkill County

Posted June 29

— A jury has convicted a woman in the death of a child in Schuylkill County.

Pietrina Hoffman was on trial for killing 14-month-old Neveah Doyle in January of 2016.

Doyle was found dead on the floor in Hoffman's home on West Centre Street in Mahanoy City.

Hoffman was found guilty of third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and aggravated assault. She was also found guilty on several lesser charges.

Jury deliberations began on Wednesday after Hoffman's defense called no witnesses.

"I'm not guilty," Hoffman said.

Even after the guilty verdict was read in court, Pietrina Hoffman still says she's innocent.

After less than two days of testimony, a jury found Hoffman guilty of murder in the death of Neveah Doyle. The child died in January of 2016.

An autopsy shows the baby was smothered to death and was dead for hours before police got to the scene.

The jury convicted Hoffman of all charges against her except for one. The most severe of those charges was third-degree murder.

"Neveah, she can rest in peace now. Riena got what she deserved," said the victim's adoptive father Louis Gray.

Doyle's mother gave her up at birth to Cecilia Gray who used to date Hoffman's son. She allowed Hoffman to watch Neveah from time to time. She's satisfied with the verdict.

"I feel really good, really good. I just wish I knew what happened," said Cecelia Gray.

So are the prosecutors and investigators assigned to the case.

"This case has been hanging over everybody's heads for the last year and a half and I'm ecstatic to see justice was served today," said Mahanoy City Police Officer T.J. Rentschler.

"Nevaeh is heaven spelled backwards," said Schuylkill County District Attorney Christine Holman. "Nevaeh, I hope you are resting in peace in heaven."

Hoffman is in the Schuylkill County Prison. She will be sentenced within the next two months. The third-degree murder conviction alone means she could spend somewhere between 20 to 40 years in prison.

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