By Matt Futch

On October 16, 2023, two Sanford area parents were arrested for Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child, which is a first-degree felony.  The allegations are that the child got out of the Sanford apartment where the family lived and ended up in a nearby pond.  One may quickly jump to conclusions that the parents are guilty of the alleged act based on the reporting by the media.  However, things are not so black and white and that is why the importance of having an experienced and knowledgeable Defense Attorney on your side cannot be understated.

Sanford parents accused of aggravated masnlaughter after son drowns

To prove the alleged crime, the State of Florida must prove:

  1. The child is dead.
  2. The death was caused by the culpable negligence of the parent(s).
  3. The victim was at the time a child and the victim’s death was caused by the neglect of the parent(s).

The definition of culpable negligence found in the Florida Standard Jury Instructions is incredibly lengthy, confusing, and complex.  An experienced Criminal Defense Attorney knows the law and knows how to properly formulate a defense to the alleged crimes these parents are facing.

When it comes to the two parents arrested for the alleged crime of Aggravated Manslaughter, the State will have to establish that the parents were not merely negligent.  Mere negligence is insufficient to prove guilt on this charge.  The negligence must be gross and flagrantThe State of Florida must prove that the parents exhibited a course of conduct that among other things, shows a reckless disregard of human life.  Culpable negligence is consciously doing an act or following a course of conduct that the defendant must have known, or reasonably should have known was likely to cause death or great bodily injury. 

What happened is undeniably heartbreaking and could happen to anyone in the blink of an eye.  Florida is full of swimming pools, ponds, lakes, and beaches; unfortunately, drownings happen every day.  The media tends to paint the bleakest picture possible when reporting on cases like this one and it is imperative that you immediately contact The Smith and Eulo Law Firm if you ever find yourself charged with a crime or believe that you are under investigation for a crime.  Remember, never talk to law enforcement without a lawyer present and always call us for your Criminal Defense needs; from pre-arrest through trial, our law firm will fight for you.

If you or a loved one needs the assistance of one of our Criminal Defense Attorneys, don’t hesitate to call us at 352-WIN-4YOU We are available 24/7 and we offer payment plans.