WICHITA, KS (KCTV) -A foster father was high on marijuana when he left a 10-month-old girl in his hot car and she later died, a Kansas prosecutor said Friday.
Seth M. Jackson, 29, had two children with him when he allegedly met with his drug dealer. He went home and was allegedly smoking weed as 10-month-old Kadillak Poe-Jones was dying in the car, according to prosecutors.
Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett discussed Jackson’s alleged drug use during a bond hearing on Friday.
Jackson’s defense attorney maintains that he should have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, and wanted his bond reduced.
But Bennett said Jackson was charged with First-Degree Murder because Jackson recklessly put the child’s life at risk.
After hearing both sides, the judge kept Jackson’s bond at $250,000 but modified to only require $50,000 surety bond. That means Jackson would pay $5,000 to a bondsman to get out of jail while waiting trial rather than $25,000.
According to court testimony, prosecutors alleged Jackson had spent the morning getting high and ran out of marijuana. He then went to buy more of the drug while the baby and a 5-year-old child were with him.
After getting home with the drug, Jackson got one child inside but left the baby in the car as he was inside having more weed, according to court documents. Jackson allegedly told police that something on TV jogged his memory and made him remember the little girl.
Investigators determined that the girl was picked up from the baby sitter about 4 p.m. last Thursday and brought home, where she was left in a car with all the windows up. Emergency dispatchers got a call at 6:41 p.m., and the girl was pronounced dead a few minutes later.
Temperatures at the time were about 90 degrees.
Jackson and his partner had been trying to adopt the 10-month-old girl they had cared for nearly all her life. Police have said both foster parents were distraught over what happened.
The Wichita couple also had three other foster children, ages 3, 5 and 18; and had two adopted children, ages 5 and 7. The two younger foster children were visiting other relatives at the time.
The children have been placed in state custody.
Both sides agree the circumstances are entirely different from a widely publicized case in Georgia, where a father is charged with murder and child cruelty charges on suspicion of intentionally leaving a 22-month-old boy in a hot car last month as he went to work.
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