BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — One parent has reached a plea deal and the other will proceed to trial after their infant child was killed last fall.
Vincent Heyns, 24, and Emily Heyns, 21 were arrested and charged with manslaughter after their two-month-old baby was found unresponsive. According to a probable cause affidavit, the parents stayed up all night watching movies and smoking marijuana after trick-or-treating on October 31, 2022.
The two went to sleep at approximately 8-9 a.m. and the baby reportedly fell asleep on his father’s chest, according to court documents. The victim’s grandfather arrived and woke the parents up around 2 p.m. and found that the infant was nonresponsive.
Emily Heyns reached a plea agreement that was signed on March 27 in Benton County circuit court. She agreed to plead guilty to endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree, a class D felony, in exchange for the manslaughter charge being dropped.
She was sentenced to 72 months of probation and ordered to pay a combination of $1,940 in court costs, fees and fines. She was also instructed to undergo an evaluation for alcohol and substance abuse issues within 30 days.
The probation agreement also ordered her to refrain from consuming or possessing alcohol or controlled substances. Heyns’ credit for 147 days served in custody covers the mandated 120-day sentencing term.
Vincent Heyns is still scheduled to proceed to a jury trial on his charges of manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a minor, first degree. His trial is set to begin on July 11.