A Florida mother has been handed a 30-year prison sentence for the tragic death of her infant left in a hot car.
Infant Dies in Hot Truck After Mother ‘Forgets’
Megan Dauphin, 32, of Panama City, Florida, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the aggravated manslaughter of her newborn daughter, McKinlee Grace Garner. Dauphin received the maximum sentence on Wednesday after being found guilty in April, as reported by WJHG.
On September 2, 2020, Dauphin drove her Chevy Tahoe to purchase cigarettes with her baby in the vehicle.
After she got home home, Dauphin went into her house without the baby. About four hours went by when her step-daughter asked where McKinlee was. It was at that time she realized her baby was still in the truck.
Dauphin Was Under the Influence
As WMBB reported, Dauphin initially said McKinlee was in the living room, but rushed to the truck to find her baby already deceased, as confirmed by her step-daughter.
Authorities said Dauphin was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time she left McKinlee in the vehicle.
During her court appearance on Monday, Dauphin expressed grief over the loss of her daughter. “I do the best I can every day to just be there for the rest of my other kids,” she stated.
Dauphin’s sister, Tiffany Dauphin, testified in court, portraying her sister as a good person who had made a tragic mistake.
“I’ve known her as kind, respectable, trustworthy, honest, giving,” Tiffany affirmed. “And she’s always been there to help any time that anyone in the family has ever needed anything. She loves kids. She has always loved kids.”
One day after a friend testified, Dauphin confessed through a Facebook message she was under the influence of drugs at the time of McKinlee’s death.
Deputies who responded to the scene on September 2, 2020, discovered drug paraphernalia at Dauphin’s residence.
Following the sentencing, Dauphin has a 30-day window to appeal the court’s decision.
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