Couple sentenced to probation in death of 1-year-old
A former Cape Coral couple charged in connection to the death of their 1-year-old son was sentenced to probation in a plea deal with the state.
Michael Clark, 27, and Kathleen Tashontae Jennings, 24, both of 928 Hibicus Lane, North Fort Myers, pled no contest last month to neglect child unattended child in motor vehicle cause bodily harm, according to records.
They were adjudicated guilty and sentenced to one year of community control, also known as house arrest, followed by four years of probation.
The third-degree felony carried a maximum of five years in prison.
“The biggest penalty for this couple was losing their child,” Samantha Syoen, the spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, said Wednesday.
Clark and Jennings also received 25 hours of community service, were ordered to speak at parenting classes about the dangers of leaving children unattended and must undergo random urinalyses for drugs and alcohol.
Syoen added that the couple must attend Southwest Florida Addiction Services and follow any recommendations that come from that.
On July 31, Cape police responded to a medical call at 4921 Vincennes St., Unit 1, the couple’s former home. A neighbor reported that a baby was not breathing. Prior to officers arrival, the two took the child to the hospital.
The 1-year-old boy was pronounced dead at Cape Coral Hospital.
The couple reportedly told police that the boy was left in a hot vehicle.
Assistant state attorney Carrie Pollock handled the case.
Assistant public defender Joseph Miskovich represented them both.
Miskovich did not return a message seeking comment.