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In Mississippi, are hot-car death cases black and white?

Little Shania Caradine with her father, Joshua Blunt
Little Shania Caradine with her father, Joshua Blunt

The mother of a Grenada child who died after being left in a hot car by her father has asked that all charges be dropped.

Shanice Caradine, mother of 8-month-old Shania Caradine, signed an affidavit Tuesday asking the court to drop all charges against Joshua Blunt. In the affidavit, Caradine called her daughter’s death a “tragic accident.”

Blunt, 25, is charged with manslaughter after he left the baby in a car while he went to work.

Blount’s attorney Carlos Moore said he hopes Grenada County District Attorney Doug Evans will drop the charges. Moore said it was his understanding Evans was pursuing the manslaughter charge at the mother’s request.

“We have it in writing that the mother of the child doesn’t want this,” Moore said. “The million-dollar question is who is pushing the issue and why?”

Evans said despite Caradine’s affidavit, his office is pursuing the manslaughter charge against Blunt, citing the fact that he was indicted by a grand jury.

Moore had accused Evans, who is white, of pursuing the manslaughter charge because Blunt is black, calling the charge an example of “blatant racism.”

Less than two weeks before Shania’s death, 2-year-old Caroline Bryant died after she was left in a hot car in Madison County by her mother, who is white. Charges have not been filed related to the toddler’s death in the Madison case.

For more on this story, visit the Clarion-Ledger’s website.

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