A mother in New Jersey was sentenced to life in prison for allegedly murdering her 17-month-old son in order to conceal an extramarital affair

Authorities say a New Jersey mother convicted of murder in the death of her 17-month-old son four and a half years ago has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of release.

Heather Reynolds, 45, of Sicklerville, was sentenced to concurrent years on child endangerment and drug charges by Judge Gwendolyn Blue last Thursday, according to the Camden County prosecutor’s office. Reynolds was found guilty of the crimes after a nine-day trial in July, but acquitted of conspiracy in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme to kill a former partner.

Before pronouncing sentencing, the court listened to members of the victim’s family express how the defendant’s crime had affected their life, according to the office.

“We are grateful to the jury for the time and attention that they gave to this case,” said Peter Gallagher of the Camden County prosecutor’s office.

Prosecutors said Reynolds smothered her son, Axel, in May 2018 by placing a cleaning wipe over his nose and mouth. They said she killed her kid to get her son out of the way of her drug addiction and want to continue an extramarital romance.

Her counsel, who has promised an appeal, described her as a dedicated mother who tried to resuscitate her baby when he became unconscious and then raced out of the house carrying him and shouting for aid from neighbors.