Couple Convicted In Case Of Toddler Strangled By Python

BUSHNELL, FLA. (CBS4)- A central Florida woman and her boyfriend have been convicted in the death of the woman’s toddler, who was strangled in her crib by a pet python.

A Sumter County jury found 21-year-old mother Jaren Hare and her live-in boyfriend, 34-year-old Charles “Jason” Darnell, guilty Thursday of manslaughter, third-degree murder and child neglect. They each face 35 years in prison. Both previously rejected plea agreements for 10 years in prison.

Authorities said an 8-foot-6-inch albino Burmese python wrapped itself around 2-year-old Shianna Hare’s head on July 1, 2009.

Authorities said Darnell found the python wrapped around the girl the morning of her death. He stabbed it several times, and it eventually released her.

A medical examiner determined that the girl died from asphyxiation.

Testimony revealed the snake had not been fed for a month before the attack.

Defense attorneys argued that the death was an accident, and there was no way to know that the tame pet would kill a child.

 

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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