A Chester County methamphetamine dealer who admitted to burning his stillborn child in a barrel has been sentenced to six-to-12 years in state prison.
William Jones, 51, pleaded guilty last week to abuse of a corpse and concealing the death of a child during a hearing before Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Sommer. Jones, of Honey Brook, also pleaded guilty to drug charges for making and selling the powerful illegal stimulant.
The sentences in both cases will run concurrently. Jones’ attorney, Meredith Daniels Copeland, did not return a request for comment Monday.
Jones was arrested in September 2019 after a months-long investigation into the infant’s death that started with an anonymous call.
The caller told workers at Chester County Children and Youth Services that Jones’ girlfriend, Anita Depedro, had delivered a stillborn child at the mobile home the couple shared, and that Jones had burned and buried the corpse, according to an affidavit of probable cause for Jones’ arrest.
Depedro, 31, pleaded guilty to drug charges in August 2020, and is serving a 2½-to-5-year sentence in state prison, court records show.
Separately, the couple was being investigated for selling methamphetamine to a confidential informant nine times between June and August 2019. After Jones was arrested for drug dealing, he admitted in an interview with detectives that Depedro had given birth to the baby while under the influence of drugs and that the baby “was almost certainly dead,” the affidavit said.
Jones said he burned the body to protect Depedro. Though investigators secured enough evidence through interviews, social media, and searches of the couple’s property for the criminal charges, they never found the child’s remains.