By Roxana Hegeman Associated Press
WICHITA, Kan. — A child crying on the television show “Game of Thrones” jogged a foster parent’s memory that he had left a 10-month-old girl inside a sweltering car while he and his partner smoked marijuana at their house, a police affidavit released Monday says.
More details of the Kansas case surfaced in the affidavit made public Monday. The document also says Seth Jackson and his partner were smoking marijuana while the child was inside the car in Wichita, where it was around 90 degrees outside.
Jackson, 29, is charged with first-degree murder in the July 24 death. No charges have been filed against his partner.
Police say the girl was inside the car with the windows up for more than two hours. According to the affidavit filed by Wichita police detective Ryan Schomaker, Jackson’s partner told investigators that the girl was hot and stiff when he grabbed her from the vehicle and took her into the house. He called 911, while Jackson attempted CPR but could not get her mouth open.
Police who first responded to the call found Jackson on the phone and the unresponsive girl lying on her back on the couch. Firefighters arriving on the scene moved the girl from the couch to the floor to attempt to revive her.
Another officer at the scene also reported observing Jackson standing in the front yard. Jackson made about four separate phone calls stating, “I left her in the car, she’s dead, she’s dead,” according to the affidavit.
Jackson told the officer he had arrived home after picking up the girl from the baby sitter, along with some pizza. When he arrived home he locked the car and went inside with the pizza and his 5-year-old adopted child who was also with him.
In an interview at police headquarters, Jackson’s partner told detectives he and Jackson had been foster parents to the 10-month-old girl since she was 2 weeks old. Police have not released the child’s name and documents in the case only use her initials.
Jackson’s partner told police that Jackson had called earlier on July 24 after taking the 5-year-old to a doctor’s appointment to let him know he would be picking up the 10-month-old girl from the baby sitter. He said he was working in the backyard when Jackson came home.
He told detectives that they watched one and a half episodes of “Game of Thrones” and smoked marijuana Jackson had picked up that day. Jackson realized the 10-month-old girl was still inside the vehicle when he heard a child crying on the television show, the affidavit says.
An autopsy on the girl showed she died of hyperthermia due to heat exposure, according to the affidavit. But Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said the charge was warranted because the child died during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony, aggravated endangering of a child. The case is not charged as intentional murder.
Jackson and his partner had been trying to adopt the 10-month-old girl. They also had three other foster children ages 3, 5 and 18, and two adopted children ages 5 and 7. The two younger foster children were visiting other relatives at the time the 10-month-old died.
Prosecutors and Jackson’s attorneys agree the circumstances are entirely different than a widely publicized case in Georgia, where a father faces murder and child cruelty charges on suspicion of intentionally leaving a 22-month-old boy inside a hot car last month as he went to work.