DOTHAN, ALABAMA: The parents of an Alabama toddler who died in 2019 after being left in a car for hours on a hot June day have pleaded guilty to manslaughter. And apparently they were both sentenced to over four years in prison.
Robert Patrick King, 36, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Thursday, October 21 and was sentenced to more than four years in prison. His ex-wife Melinda King, 40, received the same sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter in August.
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Castiel King was just two years old when he died on June 28, 2019 in Dothan, Ala, after getting into his parents’ unlocked Mazda sports car around 3:15 p.m. on that summer day. And Castiel stayed there until an older brother found him about four hours later, he couldn’t get out. Investigators said temperatures in Dothan that day exceeded 90 degrees, but temperatures inside the car reached around 120 degrees. Castiel was pronounced dead in a hospital.
Authorities alleged the couple were intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at home in 200 Block of Lace Drive in Dothan when Castiel got out and got into the car, the couple reportedly fell asleep after having drank and smoked marijuana at their home in Dothan. Cops also reportedly found nearly two pounds of marijuana in their home after their son died.
The two Kings initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, but reversed their plea ahead of their respective trial dates. Since Castiel’s death, their surviving children have been placed in the care of a parent and the couple have filed for divorce. Melinda’s defense attorney Raynor Clifton said of her guilty plea: “(She) took responsibility for what happened, and she will regret it for the rest of her life.”
After the couple’s arrest in 2019, the Dothan Police Department released a statement that read. âAn investigation into the circumstances of the death revealed that the child had been left unattended by the parents, Robert Patrick King and Melinda Gail King, he left the house and entered the vehicle alone. Both parents were sleeping at home and under the influence of intoxicants. As a result of the investigation, they were both charged with one count of manslaughter each and both have $ 30,000.00 bail. “
In August 2019, Dothan Police found Robert so drunk that he had to use a bush to maintain his balance. Officers stopped him on a charge of public intoxication. Robert, who admitted to consuming alcohol, went to a store where he purchased two cans of Four Loko, marketed as a premium energy malt drink. Officers balanced him by “hanging on” to a bush on the side of the road near his home. He was reportedly returned to prison where he underwent a drug addiction assessment and a treatment assessment.