Jaren Hare, 21, and her boyfriend Charles Darnell, 34, went on trial in Florida today, two years after they found Hare's daughter Shaianna dead in her cot in July 2009, with their albino Burmese python, Gypsy, coiled tightly around her and its fangs embedded in her forehead.
Investigators say that the 8ft 6in serpent had not been fed for a month and was kept in a tank at their rural home in Oxford, Florida, with only a duvet thrown over the top, tethered loosely with bungee cords and safety pins, to try to prevent it from escaping.
Prosecutors say that the episode was more than just a macabre accident and that Shaianna died as a result of criminal neglect by the couple.
Though the snake was the 'instrument of death', Darnell and Hare were responsible for ensuring the child's safety but showed 'reckless disregard', they assert. Read More