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Mom sentenced to 30 years in jail for leaving baby to die in hot car

By Brooke Villanueva Published May 18, 2023 1:56 pm

A mother has been sentenced to 30 years in jail for leaving her baby to die in her hot car for four hours. 

According to a report by PEOPLE, Megan Dauphin of Panama City received a maximum sentence on Wednesday, May 17 after being found guilty of the murder of her own child named McKinlee Grace Garner in April. 

Local media outlet WMBB reported that Megan brought her daughter with her as she drove to a store to buy cigarettes in September 2020. She got home by herself and only realized that she left her baby in her Chevy Tahoe four hours later, when her stepdaughter began looking for McKinlee. 

When she rushed back to her vehicle, it was too late as her little one was already dead. 

Authorities said Megan was high on methamphetamine—a “powerful, highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system,” according to the National Institutes of Health—when the incident happened. They found the same drug in her home during their investigation on the case.

The parent opened up about being deeply upset about her daughter’s death to the court on Monday, May 15.

“I do the best I can every day to just be there for the rest of my other kids,” she said.

“But even that is, or any time I see any little girl I serve, I would break down in the bathroom and cry,” she added.

Meghan is now in the Bay County Jail. She’s been given 30 days to appeal her sentence.