Mom, python owner charged in baby’s death

Authorities say the mother of a little girl who was suffocated by a pet python has been charged in the child’s death.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office reports that 19-year-old Jaren Ashley Hare and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Charles Jason Darnell, were both charged Monday with manslaughter, third degree murder and child abuse in the July 1 death of 2-year-old Shaianna Hare. The mother reportedly turned herself in Monday afternoon, and Darnell was already in jail on an unrelated drug charge.

Authorities say Darnell found the 8-foot python wrapped around the girl the morning of her death. He stabbed it several times, and it eventually released her. A medical examiner determined that the girl died from asphyxiation.

Megahed wants to restart path to U.S. citizenship

MIAMI — An Egyptian man who was acquitted of terrorism-related charges and later faced deportation wants to restart the process of becoming an American citizen.

Youssef Megahed’s attorney, Charles Kuck, on Monday said that his client plans to mail a letter asking for an interview for his pending citizenship application.

Megahed had already applied for citizenship before he was arrested with a fellow University of South Florida student in 2007. Deputies said they found explosives in the trunk.

Megahed was acquitted of explosives charges in federal court in April, but was later taken into custody by immigration officials. Last week, an immigration judge in Miami threw out Megahed’s deportation case and government lawyers declined to stand in the way of his release.

Mayor to start watch group for horse killings

DAVIE — A South Florida mayor says she wants to start a community group that she hopes will help protect the area’s horses, which have become targets for apparent slaughter.

Davie Mayor Judy Paul says the “Community Barn Watch” group that she wants to start will let the culprits behind the slaughters know that residents are on the lookout for suspicious activity. Paul will unveil “Barn Watch” signs at a meeting scheduled for Wednesday night.

Two women dead after van plunges into canal

MIAMI — Authorities say two women were killed when the van they were in plunged into a South Florida canal.

Capt. Skip Washa says the mother and daughter were in the minivan Sunday night when it crashed through a wooden fence and into the water in Aventura.

Police were the first to respond and when they couldn’t immediately reach the van, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue divers pulled the women out and tried to revive them. Both women were pronounced dead at a hospital.

Accused cat killer’s attorney expecting 100 witnesses

MIAMI — An attorney representing a South Florida teenager accused of killing more than a dozen cats says he expects a massive case that might involve more than 100 witnesses.

Tyler Hayes Weinman’s attorney, David Macey, says the teenager’s family is already struggling to pay his legal bills.

Taxpayers will foot the bill for some of Weinman’s case, under a motion Miami-Dade Circuit Judge John Thornton granted Monday. Thornton approved $10,000 to pay for depositions and $2,500 for investigative costs. He also cut the daily cost of Weinman’s electronic monitoring bracelet.

Weinman is charged with 19 counts each of animal cruelty and improperly disposing of an animal body. He also faces four counts of burglary related to the cat deaths. He has pleaded not guilty.

Report: Man leaves kids in car at strip club

CLEARWATER — Authorities say a Largo man was arrested after being accused of leaving two small children in his vehicle while he was in a Clearwater strip club.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office reports that 33-year-old Kenneth J. Summers left a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old in a car late Sunday night. The report says Summers was in the club, drinking at the bar, for 30 to 60 minutes.

— Herald wire services