Couple Gets Manslaughter Sentence After Pet Python Kills Baby
A tear rolled down a mother's cheek as she was sentenced to 12 years in prison because her pet python killed her baby.
"Count one, manslaughter. I sentence you to 12 years in the Department of Corrections," said the judge.
Her boyfriend broke down as he begged for mercy, but he was also sentenced to 12 years.
"There's no way I would ever cause any harm to any of my children," said her boyfriend.
Now a defense attorney is claiming these parents were found guilty because jurors were outraged by the recent acquittal of Casey Anthony.
"The jury's decision definitely was affected by Casey Anthony's acquittal," said defense attorney Jennifer Rhiannon Arnold.
21-year-old Jaren Hare and boyfriend Charles Darnell went on trial in Florida just a week after Casey Anthony went free.
"The jury wanted to make an example after Casey Anthony. Certainly the fact that our case went the week after Casey Anthony was acquitted of all charges definitely had an impact on my case. Certainly," said Arnold.
Shaianna Hare was strangled to death by her mother's 12-foot-long Burmese python in 2009. She was just two years old, the same age as little Caylee Anthony when she was killed.
The jury heard the disturbing 911 call from defendant Charles Darnell:
Darnell: "Our snake, we have a Burmese python and she's about 12 feet long. She got out of the cage last night and got into the baby's crib and strangled her to death."
Prosecutors said the snake was starving and was kept in a fish tank covered with a quilt.
Both were found guilty of manslaughter.
Defense attorneys are appealing, claiming they were not allowed to screen out jurors who were angry over Casey Anthony's acquittal.
"Here we are a week later dealing with a dead child. Nobody wants what they claim to be responsible of a child's death to walk free after Casey Anthony did," said Arnold.
Meanwhile, Casey Anthony has returned to Florida to start one year of probation. She met secretly with a probation officer Wednesday.
Gretl Plessinger from the Florida Department of Corrections said, "She told the probation officer that she intended to do well on probation. She was polite and cooperative."