A Kansas man who has been accused of leaving his foster child, age 10 months inside a steaming hot car where she died was charged on Wednesday with her alleged murder. Seth Jackson, age 29, of Wichita, appeared in court for the first time on a charge of first-degree murder. There was also an alternate count of second-degree murder filed against him.
The baby died last Thursday after being left inside the boiling vehicle for over two hours. Kansas State Police state that Jackson told them he had seemingly forgotten about her until something on television happened to jog his memory. The temperatures in the city of Wichita at that time were reported to be around the 90 degree mark.
Jackson’s defense lawyer, John Stang, stated that after the hearing, he felt that prosecutors went too far in indicting his client with murder and instead he should have been given an involuntary manslaughter charge instead. Stang felt it would have much better suited the case.
However the Sedgwick County District Attorney declared that the charge was justified because the child had died during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony. It intensified and endangered the life of a child to the point of death.
Each side agreed that these circumstances were completely different than the widely broadcast case in Georgia, where a father has been charged with child cruelty and murder due to the suspicions of him deliberately leaving his son, age 22 months, in a steaming hot car in June as he went to work. Jackson’s case is not being charged as an intended murder.
The police stated that no one thought that Jackson left the child in the car intentionally but his defense attorney stated he respectfully disagreed with the first degree murder charge. That carries a life sentence with a chance of parole after 20 years in Kansas.
Stang stated that it may be first degree murder but it was in a situation that a man accidentally forgot, where he made a mistake. The lawyer stated that he was not trying to minimize the fact a child passed away, but normally one looks at first degree murder usually with a more heinous kind of death.
Investigators figured out that the baby was picked up from her baby sitter about 4 p.m. Thursday and was brought home. She was then left in the car where all the windows were rolled up. Emergency responders were called out at about 6:40 p.m., and the child was declared dead a few minutes after they arrived on scene.
Jackson and his partner had been attempting to adopt the little girl. They had taken care of her for nearly all her life. Investigators stated that each of the foster parents were hysterical over what had occurred. The couple also had three other foster children, ranging in age from 3 to 18 and they also had two adopted children, ages 5 and 7. The two younger foster kids were off visiting relatives at the time of the girl’s death.
Seth Jackson, a man from Kansas, has been accused of leaving his foster child, age 10 months inside a steaming hot car where she died was charged on Wednesday with her alleged murder. He appeared in court for the first time on a charge of first-degree murder. There was also an alternate count of second-degree murder filed against the man.
By Kimberly Ruble
Kansas City News