WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas foster father was high on marijuana when he left a 10-month-old girl in a hot car, where she died, prosecutors said Friday.
Details of the case surfaced during a bond hearing Friday for Seth M. Jackson, 29, of Wichita, who is charged with first-degree murder in the baby’s July 24 death.
KWCH reported that Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett cited the marijuana use in court as the reason for raising his bond to $250,000. Jackson was initially jailed on a $100,000 bond, and the defense had been trying to get the bond lowered.
Bennett told the court Jackson had gone to his drug dealer’s house and bought marijuana. He said prosecutors believe Jackson came home to consume marijuana, leaving the girl behind in the car.
Police have said Jackson had apparently forgotten about her until something on TV jogged his memory. The girl was left in a the sweltering car with the windows up for more than two hours outside her foster parents’ home in Wichita. Temperatures at the time were around 90 degrees.
Jackson’s defense attorney, John Stang, said earlier this week that prosecutors have gone too far in charging his client with murder and that an involuntary manslaughter charge would have better fit the case.
But Bennett has said the charge was warranted because the child died during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony — aggravated endangering of a child. No one alleges the child was intentionally left in the car.
Both sides agree the circumstances are entirely different than 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.