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Couple Gets 12 Years In Python Killing

BUSHNELL, Fla., Aug. 25 (UPI) — A Florida woman and her boyfriend were sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison for the death of her daughter, who was killed by her pet Burmese python.

Lawyers for Jaren Hare, 21, and Charles Darnell, 34, argued at the sentencing — as they did at trial — that Hare’s daughter, Shaianna, was the victim of an accident, The Daily Commercial of Leesburg reported. But Sumter County Judge William Hallman said they should have known the large snake would regard the 2-year-old girl as food.

“This child was a small mammal which is on the menu for a wild animal,” Hallman said.

The couple were convicted last month of third-degree murder, manslaughter and child neglect.

The snake was kept in an aquarium covered by a quilt. It got loose in 2009 and bit and squeezed the girl.

The Burmese python is one of the largest snakes, capable of growing to more than 20 feet in length, and is a powerful constrictor.

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