Murder charges reinstated in hot car case

Sept. 25, 2002 at 3:46 PM
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PONTIAC, Mich., Sept. 25 (UPI) -- A woman accused of killing her young children by leaving them locked in a car in sweltering temperatures will face murder charges after all.

Oakland Circuit Judge Wendy Potts Wednesday ruled District Judge Stephen Cooper overstepped his bounds when he reduced charges against Tarajee Maynor to involuntary manslaughter.

Maynor, 25, of Detroit, is accused of leaving her 3-year-old son, Adonnis, and 10-month-old daughter, Acacia, in a locked car, with the windows closed, for more than three hours June 28 while she got her hair done and tried on clothes at a Southfield beauty parlor. She tried to plead guilty to the reduced charge but the prosecution appealed.

Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum 15-year prison sentence opposed to felony murder, which could bring a life sentence.

Maynor has said she was unaware leaving her children in locked in a car with temperatures in the 90s could result in their deaths. When the children were found, they were covered in vomit.

Maynor's attorney, Elbert Hatchett, called Wednesday's decision a "cardinal injustice" and said he would appeal. He said his client never intended to kill her children.

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