A mother who left her seven week old baby to die inside a blazing hot car for four hours while she was high on crystal meth has been jailed for 30 years.
Horrified police had found baby McKinlee Grace Garner dead in the SUV parked outside her mother Megan Dauphin’s home in Panama City, Florida, USA.
A court in Bay County heard how blood tests showed that Dauphin, 32, was under the influence of the Breaking Bad drug while her baby was dying.
A jury found her guilty of the aggravated manslaughter of her newborn and on 17th May she was sentenced to 30 years behind bars, the maximum possible.
The court head how Dauphin had taken her baby with her in her Chevy Tahoe truck as she drove to buy cigarettes on 2nd September, 2020.
But when she returned she forgot about baby McKinlee and left her strapped into her seat in the car.
At the time outside temperatures in Florida were 35C which meant temperatures in the car were hitting up to 85C.
Prosecutors say Dauphin only realised her baby was still in the Chevy when her step-daughter asked where McKinlee was.
Dauphin first claimed McKinlee was in the living room, her stepdaughter told the court.
But after not seeing her anywhere inside the home, Dauphin rushed to the car – where she found her baby’s body.
Police deputies told how they found drug paraphernalia in the home that was consistent with the use of methamphetamine.
Drug tests confirmed Dauphin was under the influence of the drug at the time her baby was dying, the court heard.
Earlier Dauphin had told the court she is still distraught over her daughter’s death.
She said: “I do the best I can every day to just be there for the rest of my other kids.
“But even that is, or anytime I see any little girl I serve, I would break down in the bathroom and cry.”
Her sister, Tiffany Dauphin, told the court her sister was a good person who made a mistake.
She said: “I’ve known her as kind, respectable, trustworthy, honest, giving.
“And she’s always been there to help any time that anyone in the family has ever needed anything. She loves kids. She has always loved kids.”
Dauphin’s defence team has 30 days to appeal the sentencing.