A MAN and a woman whose pet Burmese python killed their 2-year-old child were set to stand trial in Texas this week, with jury selection beginning yesterday.
Charles “Jason” Darnell, 33, and Jaren Ashley Hare, 21, face third-degree murder and manslaughter charges stemming from the 2009 death of their daughter, Shaiunna Hare, myFOXtampabay.com reported.
Prosecutors will allege that “Gypsy,” a 260 centimeter albino Burmese python, escaped from its glass tank, slithered down the hall and attacked the child in her crib.
Darnell told detectives he found the snake in the hallway a day before the attack and had placed it back inside its tank and put a quilt on top of it. He also admitted that the snake had gotten out of the tank – which did not have a lock on it – at least five times prior to the incident.
Documents released in January and cited by the Orlando Sentinel claim that the snake had not been fed for a month when the child was attacked.
The death, in a rural community called Oxford about 96 kilometers northwest of Orlando, spurred a statewide hunt of exotic reptiles and fueled a crackdown on the imported constrictors.