Berkeley Township man sentenced for daughter’s drowning death
The Berkeley Township man whose two-year-old daughter drowned in a neighbor's swimming pool in 2015 is sentenced to three years in prison.
Robert S. Trella, 42, was senteced in Ocean County Superior Court Friday, on a second-degree count of endangering the welfare of a child, related to abuse or neglect, according to County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato's office.
Trella was additionally ordered to have no contact with his other children without approval by the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency.
He pleaded guilty to the charge in February, a week before the youngster's mother, Brigitte McCarthy, pleaded guilty to drug possession and child endangerment. She has entered the Ocean County Drug Court probation program, a rigorous, multi-year process of rehabilitation that averts prison only if all conditions are met.
Trella has been incarcerated since his arrest in January 2016. According to a report in the Asbury Park Press, the sentencing judge noted that, under state guidelines, Trella has logged enough time to be eligible for parole.
Young Maddigan McCarthy's body was found in the pool shortly after police responded to a report of a nine-year-old girl frantically looking for her sister.
Witnesses told investigators that the toddler had wandered the neighborhood without supervision in the past. Detectives also learned that her older sister assumed much of her sister's care.