February 1st, 2017
Many have heard the term Negligent Homicide in cases involving DUI or discharging of a firearm causing death. There is a specific term used in Florida criminal statutes known as Culpable Negligence that defines what kind of behavior can be criminally prosecuted if the negligent behavior causes death. The actual charge would be Aggravated Manslaughter, a first degree felony, and the State would have to prove that you caused the death of another acting with Culpable Negligence. In September of 2016 a Hillsborough County firefighter caused the death of his 23 month old toddler by leaving the child in the back seat of his Chevy Silverado pickup truck for eight hours. In a previous blog we wrote about this story. Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times revealed that this firefighter would not be charged - with any crime at all! The basic facts as described by the Times were as follows:
- the defendant left home with his two children in his truck and dropped the five year old off at school at about 8:30 a.m.
- he was supposed to drop his 23 month old toddler off at day care after this, "but for some reason he didn't"
- he went home and made some phone calls about signing his daughter up for soccer then studied for a firefighter exam, leaving the child in the car
- he later went outside to walk his dog but didn't notice his son still in the car
- at 3;30 p.m. he drove to Publix with the child in the car and then came home
- not until he came home from Publix did he notice his toddler, still in the car seat behind him where he had been left all day
- his wife was out of town