A former Mississippi police officer has pleaded guilty in a culpable negligence manslaughter case involving her 3-year-old daughter. The little girl died after her mother left her inside her patrol car back in 2016.
Authorities say the 29-year-old, who worked for the Long Beach Police Department, had the child in her car when she stopped at her supervisor's home after her shift had ended. They say the woman had sex with her supervisor and then fell asleep. Her daughter, who was left unattended for hours in the car, died.
She will be sentenced later this spring. Prosecutors are recommending that she receive the maximum possible sentence of 20 years. They reached this recommendation after consulting with the father of the little girl.
The request for the maximum sentence may also be based on the fact that the woman had been left her child attended in a vehicle on at least one other occasion. According to the father's attorneys, the woman was taken into custody when the child was found alone, but the case was eventually dropped.
The father is suing both the police department and Mississippi Child Protective Services for dereliction of duty and negligence. According to the suit, neither took the appropriate steps after that first incident.
One of the father's attorneys says, "No one should be above the law, especially those tasked with upholding the law." He says the suit questions "what if anything was done after the first incident to ensure that it would not happen a second time. Tragically there was a second incident."
While no wrongful death lawsuit can bring a loved one back, it can hold individuals and entities accountable for their actions and help protect others from becoming victims. In some cases, it can also be used to help families who have lost a breadwinner. Further, they can seek compensation for pain and suffering and other damages.