Jade Phillips, 24, and husband Anthony, 28, were arrested and accused of leaving their 2-year-old son, Kip, in the car overnight, while temperatures soared above 90 degrees.
Jade Phillips is the daughter of Jerry Kirkman, mayor of the small town of Westmoreland. They found the baby in the car parked outside of his house.
Phillips eventually contacted the police herself and admitted that child had been locked in the parked car for an entire night.
The Daily Mail reports:
Phillips had been living her father alongside her husband and toddler son, a neighbor told the Knoxville News Sentinel.
Jade Kirkman married Anthony Dyllan Phillips in March 2015, according to a wedding announcement published in the Gallatin News-Examiner.
Neighbor Freeda Hall said the couple ‘seemed like good parents,’ and that they both worked at an Apple Barn on opposite shifts so they could take care of their son.
The parents are charged with with first-degree murder committed in perpetration of aggravated child neglect, first-degree murder committed in the perpetration of aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect and aggravated child abuse.
The Phillips are charged under a section of the first-degree murder statute known as felony murder.
Under that law, the state must only show the child was killed as a result of the felony crimes of abuse and neglect, not that they planned to kill the child.
The crimes committed by this family carry a maximum sentence of death, and a minimum of life with a mandatory 51 years in jail.