BUSHNELL, Fla. (AP) - A central Florida couple has been sentenced to 12 years in prison each for the death of the woman's toddler, who was strangled in her crib by a pet python.
A Sumter County judge sentenced 21-year-old mother Jaren Hare and her live-in boyfriend, 34-year-old Charles "Jason" Darnell, on Wednesday. They were both convicted last month of manslaughter, third-degree murder and child neglect. Both previously rejected plea agreements for 10 years in prison.
Authorities say an 8-foot-6-inch albino Burmese python wrapped itself around 2-year-old Shianna Hare's head on July 1, 2009. Testimony revealed the snake had not been fed for a month before the attack.
Defense attorneys argued that the death was an accident, and there was no way to know that the tame pet would kill a child.
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)