Viewing ‘Manslaughter’ Category

Amanda Knox addressed jury today in hopes of being freed on her appeal

Today, in a packed courtroom in Perugia, Italy, Amanda Knox stood before the 8 person jury who will ultimately decide her fate and plead for them to return a verdict of not guilty and to give her life back.  Knox spoke in Italian, which she now speaks fluently after spending the last four years of her life in an Italian jail.  Reports described her plea for freedom as very sincere.  She fought back tears but was able to keep her composure in her 10 minute address to the jury.

In her last plea to the jury, Knox stated,

“I’m not a promiscuous vamp. I’m not violent … I have not killed, I have not raped. I was not there. I was not present.  I want to go home, I want to go back to my life, I do not want to be punished and to have my life taken away from me for something I have not done, because I am innocent.”

She further said,

“I lost a friend, in the most brutal and inexplicable way possible.  My absolute faith in the police authorities was betrayed, I’ve had to face absolutely unfair … and baseless accusations. I am paying with my life for things I did not commit.”

A verdict in the case is expected later today.  Under the Italian system, the jurors will not be allowed to leave the deliberation room until they agree on a verdict.  The jury has many options as to Knox’s fate.  They can uphold the original conviction and her 26 year sentence, they can uphold the conviction and reduce or increase the amount of years Knox will spend in prison or they can find Knox not guilty and order that she be released.


Boyfriend and Mother on trial because their pet python strangled their 2 year old child


ORLANDO, Fla – Trial proceedings began on Monday for a central Florida mother and her boyfriend who are accused of allowing their pet python to strangle a 2-year-old girl in her crib.

Jaren Hare, 21, and boyfriend Charles Darnell, 34, were charged with manslaughter, third-degree murder and child neglect after the July 1, 2009, death of Hare’s daughter, Shaianna Hare, in Bushnell northwest of Orlando.

Darnell found the couple’s 12-foot-long albino Burmese python named Gypsy wrapped around Shaianna’s head and body, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. The medical examiner found bite marks on the child’s head and arms.

Darnell estimated that Shaianna weighed 22 pounds compared to the snake’s 45 to 50 pounds, the incident report said.

Darnell told deputies that he woke up in the middle of the night, found the python in the hallway and returned it to its 200-gallon aquarium where it spent most of its time. He thought he had secured the snake by placing it in a laundry bag, which had a small hole in it, and then covering the aquarium with a quilt held on by safety pins.

But Hare told deputies that the snake had escaped from the tank and laundry bag 10 times in the previous two months, and she was planning to make a locking lid for the tank.

Florida state law requires owners to keep pythons under lock and key. Neither Darnell nor Hare obtained a state permit to keep the python.

Darnell said the snake was due for its monthly feeding, but he didn’t think the animal wanted to eat the little girl. Darnell said he stabbed the snake while trying to pry the toddler from its grip but the child was already dead, the sheriff’s report stated.

The couple told deputies they often took the snake out of the tank to play with it and would place it around the shoulders of the children in the home without incident.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission took possession of the python and a red-tailed boa constrictor in the home. After the python was treated for stab wounds, both reptiles were placed with a licensed facility.

Lawyers selected a jury on Monday and were scheduled to begin opening statements Tuesday morning.

Update:  Thursday, July 14th – Jaren Hare, 21, and her boyfriend, Charles Darnell, 34, were found guilty of third-degree murder, manslaughter and child neglect in the 2009 death of Hare’s 2-year-old daughter Shaiunna.