Mother of toddler killed by pet python released from prison
The snake was reportedly malnourished and inadequately secured.
The mother of a US toddler who was asphyxiated to death in her crib by a pet Burmese python twelve years ago has been released from prison.
In 2009, 2-year-old Shaiunna Hare was killed by the 8-foot, 6-inch pet snake that had escaped from its enclosure at her mother's home in Florida.
Mum Jaren Hare, 32, and her boyfriend, Charles “Jason” Darnell, who also lived at the home, were convicted of aggravated manslaughter and child neglect following the girl's death.
Prosecutors said the albino Burmese python, named Gypsy, had been severely malnourished when it attacked the child and attempted to eat her, according to reports.
The snake, who Hare had owned for years, wrapped itself around the toddler's neck after escaping from a glass aquarium that was secured with nothing but a quilt for a lid.
In a 911 call, Darnell said: “She got out of the cage last night and got into the baby’s crib and strangled her to death. I’m going to kill the bitch.”
He then reportedly stabbed the snake, killing it.
During the couple's trial, defence attorneys claimed the couple never expected the previously tame pet to harm anyone.
Both were sentenced to 12 years in prison, with Hare released just days ago and Darnell released in January.
The pair remain on supervised probation until 2026.
The girl's father previously settled a lawsuit with the Florida Department of Children and Families for wrongful death after claiming investigators observed the snake in the home but failed to adequately protect the toddler.