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Author Topic: Child strangled by seat belt during carjacking
snopes
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Comment: A mother was in her car with her son [the son being seatbelted in
the back]. The mother was getting gas and quickly went into the gas
station to pay, not thinking anything of leaving the doors unlocked.
Suddenly a robber runs towards the car, opens the back door, pulls the kid
out slams the door and then drives off not knowing that the kid is now
strangled by the seat belt. As the robber speeds off, the kid is being
dangled on the road by the seat belt, meanwhile many cars chasing after
him beeping their cars notifying him that a child is dangling from the
car. [They obviously thought he was the parent]

True or False?

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Starla
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Why would the other motorists "obviously" think the driver was the parent?

That story sounds similar to a story on Oprah a few years ago where a woman ran into a store and left her child in the car. The car was stolen and, as it drove away, she opened the car's door and tried to pull her son out. He ended up getting caught in the seat belt and was dragged to death. I'm going to check and see if I can find more information.

ETA: Here it is:
quote:
Since witnessing the horrible death of her only son in February 2000, Christy Robel struggles with the idea of forgiving herself every minute of every day.

While out running errands, Christy stopped at a store to get her son, Jake, something to drink and left him in the car. Moments after she entered the store, a man who had recently been released from prison carjacked her car. Screaming, Christy tried to get Jake out of the car as the carjacker accelerated, but the seat belt was caught around Jake's waist. Holding onto Jake and dragging herself, eventually Christy was forced to let go. She watched helplessly as her son was dragged to his death.

Christy says, "I cannot believe that I just stopped for one second and my life is done... There's no purpose."



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justusfour
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I remember that story. Awful, awful, awful. It's because of this story I stopped leaving my kiddos (now ages 5 and 3)in the car if I am running in a convienence store even for just a second. A few extra moments of getting them out of their seats and putting them back in is definitely worth it to prevent something like that happening and having to deal with a lifetime of grief and guilt. I don't know how this poor mother does it everyday... [Frown]

Edited to clarify

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Artemis
The First USA Noel


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I don't understand how he was dragged to his death, once she let go. I can understand if she was yanking him and the car was still going and the seatbelt was tangled around his neck. But if she tried to get him out and let go, then what exactly was strangling him?

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Starla
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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The seat belt was still wrapped around his waist. She was pulling him, trying to get him out of the seat belt but she was unsuccessful. [Frown]

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This used to be the life, but I don't need another one.
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Artemis
The First USA Noel


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So if it's wrapped around his waist, how was he either strangled or dragged to his death?

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"You can't play Electro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of Centrifugal Bumble Puppy."
-Mustapha Mond, "Brave New World"

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Anyte
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He wasn't strangled, he was dragged. The seat belt was around his waist, he was hanging out of the car but couldn't be freed from the belt. The car was moving, dragging him (and his mother) until she let go. The car continued to drag the child. The child probably weighed enough that the seat belt wouldn't retract once it was pulled out.

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Too broke to pay attention

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Angel With Wax Wings
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Okay so the seatbelt like pulled out at the waist but didn't retract?

Either way that's a horrible way to die! I don't know if I could live with the guilt. But mostly, I've read, that carjackers will usually dump a passenger as opposed to killing them, cause they would rather go to jail for grand theft auto and not murder.

In this case, would the car jacker be charged with murder? Or would it be ruled an accidental death?

~Monica

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justusfour
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quote:
Originally posted by Angel With Wax Wings:
Okay so the seatbelt like pulled out at the waist but didn't retract?

Either way that's a horrible way to die! I don't know if I could live with the guilt. But mostly, I've read, that carjackers will usually dump a passenger as opposed to killing them, cause they would rather go to jail for grand theft auto and not murder.

In this case, would the car jacker be charged with murder? Or would it be ruled an accidental death?

~Monica

Monica, the carjacker was charged with capital murder

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STF
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by justusfour:
quote:
Originally posted by Angel With Wax Wings:
Okay so the seatbelt like pulled out at the waist but didn't retract?

Either way that's a horrible way to die! I don't know if I could live with the guilt. But mostly, I've read, that carjackers will usually dump a passenger as opposed to killing them, cause they would rather go to jail for grand theft auto and not murder.

In this case, would the car jacker be charged with murder? Or would it be ruled an accidental death?

~Monica

Monica, the carjacker was charged with capital murder
I could be mistaken, but I was under the impression that if someone dies because you are committing a felony then you are charged with their murder. I think some states are like that at least. Of course I could be totally wrong.

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GenYus
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quote:
Originally posted by STF:
I could be mistaken, but I was under the impression that if someone dies because you are committing a felony then you are charged with their murder. I think some states are like that at least. Of course I could be totally wrong.

I don't think that is the case in Missouri. According to the link, the prosecution is trying to prove that the defendant knew he was dragging the child to death. If a death resulting from the commision of a felony was capital murder, then I would think they would only be trying to prove that the death resulted from the felony of auto theft. Also, the Missouri Revised Statuates declares:
quote:
565.020. 1. A person commits the crime of murder in the first degree if he knowingly causes the death of another person after deliberation upon the matter.
It doesn't say anything about death resulting from a felony being first degree murder. As a contrast, the Arizona Revised Statuates list first degree murder as:

quote:
A. A person commits first degree murder if:

1. Intending or knowing that the person's conduct will cause death, the person causes the death of another person, including an unborn child, with premeditation or, as a result of causing the death of another person with premeditation, causes the death of an unborn child.

2. Acting either alone or with one or more other persons the person commits or attempts to commit sexual conduct with a minor under section 13-1405, sexual assault under section 13-1406, molestation of a child under section 13-1410, terrorism under section 13-2308.01, marijuana offenses under section 13-3405, subsection A, paragraph 4, dangerous drug offenses under section 13-3407, subsection A, paragraphs 4 and 7, narcotics offenses under section 13-3408, subsection A, paragraph 7 that equal or exceed the statutory threshold amount for each offense or combination of offenses, involving or using minors in drug offenses under section 13-3409, kidnapping under section 13-1304, burglary under section 13-1506, 13-1507 or 13-1508, arson under section 13-1703 or 13-1704, robbery under section 13-1902, 13-1903 or 13-1904, escape under section 13-2503 or 13-2504, child abuse under section 13-3623, subsection A, paragraph 1, or unlawful flight from a pursuing law enforcement vehicle under section 28-622.01 and in the course of and in furtherance of the offense or immediate flight from the offense, the person or another person causes the death of any person.



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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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STF
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I figured if anything it was state by state. I seem to recall that the law in Georgia is different than Missouri's in that way.

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