Johnesha Perry, the 19-year-old mother who allegedly kissed her 1-year-old baby boy goodbye before throwing him from a 52-foot tall bridge in Pennsylvania, is trying out the insanity defense, according to a new report.
Lehigh Valley Live reports that Perry will plead insanity, which could be helped along by the fact that Perry herself jumped from the bridge, but survived the deadly plunge.
Zymeir Perry’s small body was found 700 yards downstream from the Hamilton Bridge in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in May. The infant survived being thrown from the bridge and was rushed to a local hospital, where he died six days later.
Johnesha Perry jumped moments after allegedly pushing him.
Perry was, at first, charged with attempted homicide, endangering the welfare of a child, and aggravated assault. The charges were later upgraded following Zymeir’s death.
According to a July report from the Morning Call, Perry was arraigned from her hospital bed. At that time, she did not have an attorney, but has since procured a defense team, including lawyer Gavin Holihan, who reacted to the District Attorney’s consideration of the death penalty for Johnesha Perry “extreme.”
“It’s an extreme penalty. Reasonable people will agree that this is not that type of case,” Holihan said.
Captain William Reinik of the Allentown Police department told local media that Perry was competent at the time of her arrest, and that she knew what she was doing.
Witnesses of the botched murder-suicide attempt told officials that Perry took Zymeir out of his stroller, then threw him over the bridge. Perry then climbed over the bridge’s railing and jumped. Witnesses also told police that Perry said it was her time before she plunged into the water.
Zymeir was found floating in the Lehigh River, heading towards the town of Bethlehem. He had been in the water an estimated five minutes before officers jumped in and brought him to shore.
Captain Renik highly commended the officers who came to Zymeir’s aid.
“I commend these two officers for actually going into the river and pulling him out and doing CPR,” Renik said.
Joseph Lanetta of the Allentown Police Department pulled Zymeir from the cold water and immediately performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, while another officer performed CPR.
Johnesha Perry is no stranger to law enforcement. Her first time being charged with a crime involved two counts of aggravated assault and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.
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[Photos via Johnesha Monae Perry / Facebook Page]