The parents of an infant girl who died in 2019 have both pleaded guilty to manslaughter and child endangerment in Miller County.
Dustin Lee Harley, 21, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and child endangerment this week in Miller County. He was sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter and six years for child endangerment with the terms to run concurrently. Harley’s wife, Crystal Morrow, 26, pleaded guilty in September to the same charges and received the same prison term, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell said.
According to a probable cause affidavit, an emergency call was made Sept. 27, 2019, from the couple’s home in Fouke for help with the twins who were “having trouble breathing.” First responders attempted life saving measures which briefly revived Kimberly but she died at the scene. Kimberly’s brother was airlifted to a Texarkana hospital and later to a Little Rock hospital in dire medical condition.
Investigators noted the laundry room where the children slept in a day crib was “piled high with laundry” and crawling with roaches. Roaches were observed crawling in the crib. The couple told MCSO Investigator Patsy DeHart that Morrow had given the babies bottles early that morning and the night before. Morrow reported that she’d gone to check on the children when her father paid the home a visit.
Miller County’s Coroner, Dakota Bloyd, noted that Kimberly was wearing a full diaper, had secretions around her mouth, nose and ears and had dirty fingernails. Staff at Arkansas Children’s Hospital described Kimberly’s brother as severely dehydrated with signs of medical distress that any adult would recognize as an emergency.
An autopsy performed on Kimberly found she was in less than the 5th percentile for her age. Kimberly’s ribs were protruding and her eyes and fontanelle were sunken. Kimberly’s brother was found to be suffering from extreme neglect also.