OXFORD -- Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in the case of a 2-year-old girl who was strangled after a pet python escaped from its terrarium.
Jaren Hare and her 34-year-old boyfriend, Jason Darnell, are charged with manslaughter and child abuse in the 2009 death of Shaianna Hare.
Documents reveal the couple had not fed the 8-foot-6-inch Burmese python for a month before the accident and that the snake had escaped repeatedly.
Darnell told detectives the snake was in its tank when he went to bed that night. An hour later, he found the python in the hallway, stuffed it in a mesh bag and put it in its tank.
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Darnell told investigators he found the snake coiled around Shaianna’s head, its fangs sunk into her forehead the next morning.
Broward residents dispose of 58,000 unwanted pills
WESTON -- Nearly 60,000 unused or expired prescription pills were turned in to authorities in Broward County as part of a prescription pill “take back” event.
Hundreds of people showed up Saturday at the sheriff’s office to turn in 58,000 prescription pills and shred 15,000 documents.
Participants of the pill- take-back program, also called Operation Medicine Cabinet, are given $5 gift cards.
The sheriff’s office regularly provides the The Shred-A-Thon so residents can safely dispose of their personal documents or any other paperwork that contains sensitive information.
Woman, 17, found dead after home invasion call
RIVIERA BEACH -- Police are investigating the death of a 17-year-old Palm Beach County woman found after a home invasion.
Police say Albrisha Jones was found dead early Saturday morning following a call to police about a home invasion in Riviera Beach. Police said she died of a gunshot wound.
Police are questioning one witness and are investigating whether there was a home invasion.
No arrests have been made. No further information was immediately released.
Man faces drug charge in crash with sheriff’s car
PALM HARBOR -- A man is being held in jail on drug charges after authorities said he crashed into the back of a Pinellas County Sheriff’s vehicle.
A sheriff’s office report says the car was stopped at a red light Friday in Palm Harbor when 48-year-old Robert Mistkowski rear-ended a vehicle driven by a member of the Pinellas County sheriff’s child protection division. A child inside the car was not seriously injured.
Mistkowski also wasn’t injured. Officiers found prescription medication on Mistkowski at the time.
Jail records show he was being held in the Pinellas County Jail Saturday on $4,000 bond.
Mistkowski, of Holiday, faces charges of possession of diazepam and oxycodone.
Father charged with child abuse for punching son, 2
MILTON -- A father in northwest Florida is being held in jail on a child abuse charge after police say he punched his 2-year-old son in the back.
Santa Rosa County deputies say 21-year-old Jeremy Alexander Davidson tried to stop his son from crying Friday morning when he punched him in the back. Davidson was charged with felony child abuse and domestic violence.
Jail records show he was being held Saturday in the county jail on $201,000 bond. It wasn’t immediately known if he has an attorney.
A family member noticed bruising on the child’s back and called police. Authorities say Davidson later admitted to punching the child.
A sheriff’s office report says deputies noticed bruising along the child’s spine. The child also had a bloody nose and a swollen lip.
Elderly woman killed in home invasion
JACKSONVILLE -- An 83-year-old Jacksonville woman died after someone broke into her home and apparently attacked her.
Family members found Emma Jean Beasley at her home Saturday night with serious injuries. She later died at the hospital.
Jacksonville Police did not elaborate on her injuries.
Police are searching for suspects.
-- Herald wire services