Mother to ask for bail while facing charges in infant's death

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

The question of whether to grant bail to an East Berlin mother charged in the death of her infant daughter will be heard next month.

Ashley Decker, 25, has been in York County Prison without bail since she was arrested in May as part of an investigation. Her 2-month-old daughter Aurora died Jan. 27 from hypothermia and methamphetamine toxicity, an autopsy found.

At the time, investigators said the baby was clothed only in a diaper and covered with a blanket that allegedly had cocaine residue on it while she slept with Decker and Decker’s boyfriend in a pop-up camper along the 100 block of Bentz Mill Road.

Ashley Nicole Decker, 25

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Temperatures that night dropped to 6 degrees, and a small propane heater was the only source of heat in the camper, according to police.

Evidence collected from the camper had traces of cocaine, heroin and meth. Decker and her boyfriend, Robert McCachren, 29, also had drugs in their systems, police alleged.

Decker is charged with third-degree murder along with felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child.

Robert McCachren

She waived a formal arraignment hearing in the York County Court of Common Pleas on Aug. 22 after the district court in Dillsburg forwarded the case to trial.

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Decker is scheduled to appear for a pretrial hearing Oct. 26, court records show. Her attorney is expected to ask Judge Gregory Snyder to allow bail to be set.

McCachren, meanwhile, is charged with a felony count of endangering the welfare of a child in the case. Following his arrest Aug. 2, he appeared for a preliminary hearing Monday in District Judge Richard Thomas’ court in Dillsburg. His case was remanded to Common Pleas court, with a formal arraignment scheduled for Oct. 12 before Snyder. 

— Reach Aimee Ambrose at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.