Dad won’t serve jail time after forgetting baby in hot car.
As Reported by NYPost.com (January 27, 2017, By Chris Perez)
A Mississippi man who was facing up to 20 years behind bars for accidentally leaving his baby daughter to die in a hot car will not be serving any prison time at all — after copping a plea deal Friday, a report says.
Joshua Blunt, 26, pleaded guilty in Grenada Municipal Court to culpable negligence manslaughter and was given a five-year suspended sentence and five years’ supervised probation, according to The Clarion-Ledger.
His attorney, Carlos Moore, told the newspaper that he agreed to the plea after the local prosecutor acknowledged that he did not “intentionally” kill the 8-month-old, identified as Shania Rihanna Caradine.
Blunt claimed he intended to take his daughter out of the backseat of his car that day last May, but instead suffered from “Forgotten Baby Syndrome,” Moore said.
According to doctors contributing to the baby website Bundoo, FBS is the medical explanation for when a parent accidentally leaves a baby or young child in a locked car. Specifically, it’s when a person’s motor cortex is out-thinking the cognitive brain, and is often the result of a daily routine being adjusted or changed for some reason.
On the day his daughter died, Blunt took a break from his restaurant job and then decided to pick up her and her mother in his car, Moore said.
After dropping his girlfriend off at work, the young man was supposed to take little Shania to her grandmother’s house — but he instead went back to his restaurant, leaving the baby alone in the backseat.
“People do make tragic accidents,” Blunt said Friday. “And even though I was absent minded, I will never be the same. You can never judge one until you walk in their shoes.”
Shania reportedly spent about four hours strapped inside her car-seat before her father came outside with a colleague and discovered her unconscious.
The pair rushed the baby girl inside and tried to cool her down with wet towels as they waited on an ambulance to arrive. She was later transported to University of Mississippi Medical Center Grenada, where she was pronounced dead.
Grenada County Deputy Coroner Jo Morman told the Clarion-Ledger that physicians at the hospital tried reviving Shania for hours, but to no avail.
Blunt had been scheduled to go on trial Monday for manslaughter, but his lawyer said he didn’t want to risk facing a possible 20-year prison sentence, so he agreed to the plea deal.
“There are no winners here,” Moore explained. “A child is dead, Mr. Blunt is a convicted felon, and the state did not get Mr. Blunt behind prison bars as it had so desired prior to today. I personally am sick and happy at the same time.”
Blunt had been out on bond since the week after his daughter died, the AP reports.
His daughter’s mother, Shanice Caradine, is currently pregnant with twins and had been pleading with the District Attorney’s office to drop the charges against him.
“I really didn’t want to take the plea, but it was best for me and my family because I have these two twins and I wanted to be there and I wanted to support my family like I always have,” Blunt told the Clarion-Ledger. “I can’t do nothing for them if I’m in prison. I’m just trying to be the loving father that I always have been.
“I’m not happy at all at the moment, but it was something I had to do for my family,” he added. “I tried my best to make the right decision.”