30-year-old Brittany Renee Borgess left her boyfriend’s four-year-old girl in a hot car for more than 6 hours on a sweltering day.
She has been acquitted of charges in the girl’s death and fined only $25.
A jury found the woman innocent of charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of children.
She was found guilty of the summary charge of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle by Senior Judge Dudley N Anderson and fined her only $25.
The Lycoming County courtroom exploded when the jury announced its decision after mulling over for three hours, forcing deputies to escort family members and a few friends of the victim Samaria Motyka out of the room.
On July 22, 2016, Borgess dropped Isaac, her 2-year-old son, off at daycare in Williamsport before going to work, forgetting to bring 4-year-old Samaria to her own daycare.
She parked her car at the rear of a downtown business where there was no shade, leaving Samaria trapped into a booster seat.
After six and a half hours, Borgess found Samaria unconscious on the floor of her car. She attempted to climb out of the booster seat to the front seat.
The temperature outside that day had reached 97F/36C. Experts said that the interior of the car hit up to 120F/48C.
The child’s internal temperature was measured at 110F/43C when she was taken to a hospital.
Borgess’ attorney claimed that a brain malfunction had caused her to become forgetful. Peter T. Campana said during closing arguments that she didn’t knowingly or consciously leave Samaria inside the car.
Campana added that Borgess was under stress and chronically sleep deprived during that time because she was about to tie the knot with Samaria’s father, William Motyka.
Prosecutors argued that there was no reasonable explanation for why the four-year-old girl was left by Borgess in the car.
Attorney Martin Wade told the court that forgetfulness shouldn’t be accepted as an excuse for the death of the child, saying: “It’s absurd to leave a child to die in a car.”
Campana then said: “No matter your verdict, Samaria will not be brought back.”
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