Couple Gets 12 Years After Pet Python Crushes Toddler
Lawyer blames sentence on Casey Anthony
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2011 1:00 AM CDT
A Burmese python like the one seen her crushed 2-year-old Shaianna Hare to death.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

(Newser) – A Florida couple whose pet Burmese python crushed the woman's 2-year-old daughter to death have been sentenced to 12 years in prison each on manslaughter and child neglect charges. Experts testified that the 8-foot-long snake was severely underweight and had tried to eat the child whole, reports the New York Daily News. The python's tank had only a quilt for a lid and it had escaped 10 times in the two months before it killed the toddler.

The couple's lawyer claimed that they were found guilty because the jury wanted to make an example of somebody after Casey Anthony's acquittal, reports WCTV. The prosecutor told the judge that the case had everything to do with the couple's negligence and nothing to do with Anthony. "To the Casey Anthony case, I'm not concerned. I don't consider that. Just like I don't consider what occurred in the OJ Simpson case years and years back," he said.