Bushnell, Florida – A little over two years after we first posted about the couple whose little girl was killed by the family’s pet python, the couple were on trial fighting murder charges.
Yesterday they were found guilty on all counts against them. It took a jury less than two hours to find Jaren Hare, 21, and Charles “Jason” Darnell, 31, guilty of manslaughter, third-degree murder and child neglect.
The couple were charged after they woke up one morning in 2009 to find that their 8-foot long python named Gypsy had gotten out of its tank and was firmly fastened to 2-year-old Shaiuanna Hare’s head.
Darnell was able to get the snake off of her by stabbing it multiple times, but it was too late, the girl had been strangled to death. It would later be reported that the snake had not been fed in a month, that the tank it was being kept in was inadequate and that Gypsy had escaped from it on multiple occasions — including earlier the day the little girl was killed.
But despite all this damning info, the couple did not feel they were responsible for the girl’s death and that it was just an unavoidable accident. They rejected a plea bargain deal and decided to place their fate in the hands of a six person jury. Big mistake.
The defense put on by their attorney was the simple fact that his clients are stupid. That’s pretty much it. But to his credit, he didn’t have much to work with. He argued that there was no way the couple could have imagined an 8-foot long, hungry python would escape from an unsecured cage and eat the first small, warm-blooded, sleeping animal it happens to encounter as it took a stroll around their small trailer.
“He’s not guilty of neglecting that child, he’s guilty of making a stupid decision of having a stupid pet. That’s what he’s guilty of. He’s guilty of not being a dog lover and liking snakes,” he told the jurors.
But the prosecution hammered home that yeah, the couple was stupid alright, but they were also criminally negligent. Just before Gypsy tried to eat the toddler, she had escaped like she had before and was found in the hallway by Darnell. He put the python in a mesh bag and back into its tank, located 12-feet away from were Shaiuanna was sleeping, then went to bed.
Then they brought out the actual tank for the jurors to see. “Ridiculous,” the prosecutor stated as he pointed to a tank that had a quilt placed on top as a lid, fastened with clothespins. He called the couple ”irresponsible caregivers” and called Shaiuanna’s death “needless, senseless and careless.”
The jury agreed with the prosecution with one juror later saying the decision was unanimous and one the other jurors were all 100 percent comfortable with.
“They were responsible for the safety of a 2-year-old who could not provide for her own safety and they had every opportunity to have understanding that there was some kind of risk involved in having such a large animal that could, even under the most remote circumstances, it was possible that the child could be injured and it was their duty to make sure there was no possibility that a two year old would either be bitten or harmed,” said the juror.
The couple will remain behind bars until they are sentenced on Aug. 24. They are each looking at 35 years in prison instead of the 10 they might have gotten had taken the plea deal. Morons.Tags: Charles Durnell, Child Neglect, Crime, Jaren Hare, Murder, Shaiunna Hare, snake, Strangulation