Family May Face Criminal Charges After Toddler Killed by Python

Shaiunna Hare was two years old when she was killed in her crib last Tuesday by her family’s more than eight foot long albino Burmese python, autopsy results recently confirmed, Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney William Moore has learned. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office said the official cause of the child’s death was asphyxiation. The python crushed Shaiunna while she was sleeping in her crib. Autopsy results also showed that the little girl had suffered bites from the snake, as well. She was bitten once on each arm and once on her forehead. Law enforcement authorities are now conducting an investigation into whether Shaiunna’s father, Charles Jason Darnell, and her mother Jaden Ashley Hare, who is 19 years old, will faces criminal charges for her death. The couple lived in a small house with Shaiunna, her two siblings, and the eight-and-a-half foot long python.

On Wednesday, Jason Darnell woke up and noticed that the snake had escaped from its terrarium. Later, he discovered the snake coiled around his two-year-old daughter. Darnell made a frantic 911 call. He also stabbed the snake with a meat cleaver and a knife, but did not kill the animal. The snake is currently being treated by a local vet and being held as evidence in the event that he or the child’s mother face criminal charges. Florida Fish and Wildlife officials expect the snake to survive with proper medical care, says Broward criminal lawyer Moore.

Darnell and Hare likely violated several state laws regarding how snakes and other exotic animals must be kept. State law requires registration for all pythons and also requires that the python be kept in a locked container. There is no record of the python that killed Shaiunna being registered with the proper authorities and the evidence does not suggest that the python was kept in a locked container. Darnell has had prior arrests for driving with a suspended license, possession of cocaine, and criminal mischief. In May, a neighbor reported the couple to the Department of Children and Families regarding concerns that they were using drugs and neglecting their children. Currently, the couple’s other two children are in DCF custody pending an investigation into Shaiunna’s death, Broward criminal lawyer Moore has learned. The couple may face charges including child endangerment and involuntary manslaughter.
In spite of this incident, animal control experts still consider the python to be a relatively safe pet. Shaiunna’s death is apparently the first by a python ever in the state of Florida, though there have been several documented python-related deaths in other states.


Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has years of experience in criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A felony or misdemeanor conviction of any type can have far-reaching consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested in south Florida, contact William Moore, P.A., with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.