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Arraignment set for man charged in daughter’s accidental death

By Staff | Jul 17, 2010

A Cape Coral man charged in connection to the death of his 1-year-old daughter has an arraignment scheduled Monday.
Reginald A. McKinnon, 38, of 1723 N.E. First Terrace, faces one count of leaving children unattended in a motor vehicle, causing great bodily harm. On March 8, Payton L. McKinnon was found unresponsive in her father’s vehicle, which was parked outside McKinnon’s place of employment in Fort Myers.
“We reviewed all the facts and evidence in this case and we felt it was appropriate to charge one count,” Samantha Syoen, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, said.
The charge is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison. According to Syoen, all third-degree felonies hold the same penalty.
“You would have to have a long rap sheet and score sheet to entitle you to that,” she said of the maximum sentence. “We’re going to evaluate the facts and circumstances, and we’ll find the proper resolution for this case.”
According to a Fort Myers police report, an officer responded to a 911 call at about 3:30 p.m. at Century Link at 1520 Lee St. The officer was directed to a parked Ford Explorer. McKinnon was standing next to the vehicle and holding his daughter in his arms, clutched to his chest.
“McKinnon appeared to be in shock and was crying uncontrollably,” the report states.
Payton was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. McKinnon had apparently left her alone in the vehicle.
McKinnon entered a plea of not guilty on June 29. Fort Myers attorney Mark Ringsmuth, who is representing him, declined to comment on the case Friday.
“I’ve got no comment as to anything related to this case,” he said.
According to Syoen, the case is being handled by the State Attorney’s Office Special Victims Unit. The unit handles cases involving children and the elderly.
“They have been working on the case with the Fort Myers Police Department since the day it actually happened,” she said.
McKinnon was not arrested nor booked into the Lee County Jail, according to Syoen. An officer with the State Attorney’s office served him with a capias, or charging document. It was served more than three months after Payton’s death.
“When he was served, he was officially charged,” she said.