In May, Joshua Blunt, of Grenada, Mississippi, was charged with murder after leaving his 8-month-old daughter to die in a hot car, and now the child's mother, Shanice Caradine, is asking that the hot car death charges against Blunt be dropped.
According to USA Today, Joshua Lewis Blunt, 25, was charged with second-degree murder in the hot car death of his daughter, Shania Rihanna Caradine, after an "extensive investigation." Grenada Deputy Police Chief George Douglas said Blunt left his daughter in the car for "some period of time" while he went inside to work at the 333 Restaurant, located on Scenic Loop 333.
Grenada County Deputy Coroner Jo Morman said someone passing by saw the infant in the car and called 911. When the infant was discovered, she was hyperthermic, which is defined as having an abnormally high body temperature. She was taken inside the restaurant to cool off and was then rushed outside to the paramedics when they arrived. The baby was then transferred to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, and although CPR was administered for nearly two hours, she didn't survive.
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Documents provided by Blunt's attorney, Carlos Moore, said his client was indicted for manslaughter on June 29 by a Grenada County grand jury.
"He never intended for anything tragic to happen to his daughter," Moore said during a July interview. "He simply forgot."
Although Moore previously believed Grenada County District Attorney Doug Evans was pursuing the manslaughter charges at Shanice Caradine's request, Caradine has now requested that all charges be dropped against Blunt. On Tuesday, August 9, Shanice signed an affidavit asking the court to drop the charges and called her daughter's death a "tragic accident."
"We have it in writing that the mother of the child doesn't want this," Moore said. "The million dollar question is who is pushing the issue and why?"
Mom of infant who died in #hotcar wants charges dropped https://t.co/Iy36IreqoT Joshua Blunt
— anne hillebrand (@annehillebrand2) August 10, 2016
Even with Caradine's signed affidavit, Evans is still reportedly perusing the manslaughter charges because he was indicted by a grand jury. In another report by USA Today, Moore suggested Evans, who is white, was seeking the charges against Joshua because he is black, citing "blatant racism." Two weeks prior to Shania's death, 2-year-old Caroline Bryant died after being left in the car by her mother, who is white. Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker said the mother thought she had taken her daughter to daycare before going to work but had actually left her in the backseat of her hot car, which resulted in her death. Although Caroline also died, her mother has yet to be arrested or charged with any crime.
"Here he stands, having been immediately arrested and quickly indicted on a culpable negligence manslaughter charge, so the million-dollar question is what is the big difference between the two cases?" Moore said. "For me, it seems to be two systems of justice in the state of Mississippi and across the country; one for Caucasians and one for African-Americans."
Father charged with murder of baby daughter left in hot car: Joshua Blunt charged after leaving his eight-mon... https://t.co/Le90NyZbck
— Dundee Local (@DundeeLocal) May 20, 2016
Moore added, "I have often been accused of playing the race card and I've tried to turn every different scenario that this could be bit each time I am left with the strong conviction that this is nothing more than blatant racism."
It was originally thought that the hot car death charges against Joshua would be reduced to a misdemeanor, which holds a maximum $500 fine and one year in jail. However, the manslaughter charge holds between two to 20 years in jail. Blunt's court date is currently scheduled for August 18, but an order to continue will be entered by presiding Judge George Mitchell on Friday, August 12.[Image via Grenada Police Department]