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Jaren Hare on trial after pet python kills daughter Shaiunna Hare

10:08 AM, Jul 11, 2011   |    comments
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Jaren Hare and Charles Darnell

Bushnell, Florida -- Prosecutors say they know of nothing else like it in Florida's history.

A parent will be tried Monday for third-degree murder, manslaughter, and child neglect after a pet snake killed her own child.

The state says the facts of this case go so far beyond a tragic accident that this was criminal.

Documents show the couple had not fed the eight-and-a-half-foot albino Burmese python for a month before the incident.

And the python had escaped repeatedly from its tank in their home in the Sumter County town of Oxford.

The mother's boyfriend, Charles Darnell, told detectives the snake was in its tank when he went to bed on June 30th, 2009.

An hour later, he found the python in the hallway. So he stuffed it into a mesh bag and put it back into its tank.

Darnell told investigators he found the snake coiled around the head of two-year old Shaiunna Hare the next morning.

The toddler had been bitten in the forehead, but pythons are not venomous; investigators say the girl died from strangulation.

According to a Department of Children and Families report, both the boyfriend and the girl's mother, Jaren Hare, had tested positive for drugs two months before the girl's death.

Detectives also found Darnell did not have a permit to own the python, which was named Gypsy.

Since the facts and statements in the case are consistent, the mother and boyfriend are being tried together.

Both face up to 15 years in prison if they're convicted of manslaughter or third-degree murder.

They're also are charged with child neglect, which carries a potential five-year prison sentence.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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