Tags: steven darnell lillie | charged | daughter | hot | car | death

Steven Darnell Lillie Is Charged in Daughter's Hot Car Death

By    |   Monday, 25 Aug 2014 11:08 AM

Steven Darnell Little has been charged with third-degree murder in the "hot car death" of his infant daughter in Rockledge, Florida, as the tragedy children being left unattended in sweltering vehicles continues this year.

Little, 31, was originally charged with aggravated manslaughter in the June incident, but the prosecutor investigating the case of nine-month-old Anna Marie Little, bumped up the charge to murder on Friday, according to WOFL-TV.

Florida Today reported that a third-degree murder conviction carries a maximum sentence of 15 years but does not require the state to prove intent to harm.

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Little told authorities, according to WOFL-TV, he "absolutely forgot about her" being in his truck after he was supposed to have dropped her off at her grandmother's before going to work. She was left in his truck for about four hours and died of heat stroke, according to the television station.

Julia Lynch, the assistant state attorney, told Florida Today that prosecutors felt obligated to charge to charge Lillie with the stricter charge of murder to enforce child-protection laws.

"We recognize that we are charging someone for a tragedy here, but if a person causes a tragedy and this leads to the unlawful taking of a life, then they have to take responsibility for it," Lynch told Florida Today. "The laws are there to protect children, and we're enforcing them."

Jennifer Mostert, Steven Darnell Lillie's attorney, said in the statement, per Florida Today, though, that prosecutors have compounded a family tragedy with another by adding the murder charge, making the family's effort to recover from the incident even more difficult.

"Mr. Lillie and his family are disappointed that the State has elected to file formal charges against him for the accidental death of his daughter Anna on June 16th, 2014," said Mostert's statement. "This family has suffered an inconceivable loss, compounded by his almost immediate arrest and now by the filing of formal charges.

"While Mr. Lillie and his family are devastated by this tragedy, they remain united as they face of these criminal charges. The family appreciates the community for its condolences and continued support," the statement continued.

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Steven Darnell Little has been charged with third-degree murder in the "hot car death" of his infant daughter in Rockledge, Florida, as the tragedy children being left unattended in sweltering vehicles continues this year.
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2014-08-25
Monday, 25 Aug 2014 11:08 AM
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