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Man charged with first-degree murder in hot car death

Published On: Aug 06 2014 10:53:00 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 30 2014 10:46:42 PM CDT
WICHITA, Kan. -

First-degree murder charges have been filed against a man accused in the death of a baby left in a hot car.

Seth Jackson appeared in court Wednesday via closed-circuit television.

A judge read the charges against Jackson which include first-degree murder, or in the alternative second-degree murder.

"Aggravated endangering of a child is if someone recklessly causes or permits a child under the age of 18 to be placed in a situation in which the child's life, body or mind is in danger," said Sedgwick County DA Marc Bennett. "If you do that and the child dies, then it's felony murder."

Bennett said there's a difference between 1st degree felony murder and 1st degree premeditated murder. Both fall under the 1st degree murder charge, but have different penalties.

"Felony murder is when someone is killed during the commission of an inherently dangerous felony, that is a term that includes aggravated endangering of a child," said Bennett. "Premeditated murder means you intentionally with premeditation, meaning you thought it out or planned it. That is not what is charged here."

Bennett said felony murder, which is what Jackson is charged with, is a lesser charge.

"First degree premeditated murder has a 25 to life sentence right off the bat, you can also seek a hard 50," he said. "Felony murder is 20 to life and you can not seek a hard 50."

Jackson was arrested last week after he told police he left his foster daughter, 10-month-old Kadillak Poe-Jones, in the back seat of his Dodge Charger.

Police said the child had been left in the car for at least two hours. Temperatures that day were in the 90s, but police said it was hotter inside the car.

Jackson is being held in jail on a $250,000 bond. He has also been ordered to have no contact with any witnesses in this case, including his partner and his mother.

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He will return to court Aug. 13 for a preliminary hearing.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families offered a statement following the death of the 10-month-old foster baby. Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said the agency remains deeply saddened that the child suffered such a horrific death.

"We support the charges filed in this case, and we will aid in any way possible the prosecution of the defendant," Gillmore said in a release.

DCF continues its investigation into the incident.

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