On Thursday, October 17, 2019, Andrew Howard-French, age 29, of Jersey City, was convicted by a Hudson County Jury of murder, endangering the welfare of a child and endangering an injured victim related to the 2018 death of 23-month-old Bryce Sparrow in Jersey City.
Following the two-week trial, the jury deliberated approximately one-and-a-half days before returning the guilty verdict. Murder is a first-degree crime that carries a sentence of 30 years to life in New Jersey State Prison. The defendant will spend, at a minimum, 30 years in state prison before being eligible for parole.
During the course of the trial, the State presented evidence establishing that the victim suffered multiple blunt force injuries resulting in his death.
On Tuesday, July 17, 2018, Emergency Medical Services personnel, including Jersey City Fire Fighters, responded to 115 Van Wagenen Avenue in Jersey City on a report of an “overheated
infant.” The child, who was later identified as Bryce Sparrow of Jersey City, was transported to the Jersey City Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short while later.
The Regional Medical Examiner’s Office determined Bryce’s death to be a homicide. Howard- French was arrested on July 25 by members of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit, charged with murder. Howard-French had been identified as a babysitter of Bryce.
The Honorable Patrick Arre, J.S.C. presided over the trial. The defendant remains detained pending sentencing. The sentencing has been scheduled for January 10, 2020.
The State was represented by Assistant Prosecutor Najma Rana of the Homicide Unit.
The case was investigated by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit with assistance from the Jersey City Police Department.