Judge: Brevard father still charged in baby's hot car death

Defense motion to dismiss third-degree murder charge denied by judge

VIERA, Fla. – A Brevard man will still face a third-degree murder charge in the hot car death of his 9-month-old daughter, a judge ruled on Thursday.

Steven Lillie, 33, is accused of leaving his infant daughter, Anna Marie Lillie in his truck in June 2014.

A Brevard County judge Thursday dismissed a defense attorney's pitch that a third-degree murder charge should be dropped because Lillie leaving his baby in a hot car was an accident.

It happened on a hot Florida day in a Rockledge parking lot.

Lillie went to work and told police he completely forgot he never dropped the baby off at his grandmother's home.

Anna Marie was in the pickup truck for as long as seven hours.

When Lillie called 911,he knew saving her was hopeless.

"She's been in the car for hours and I absolutely forgot about her. She's not alive," he said on the 911 call.

Prosecutors called the defense argument to drop the murder charge "ridiculous."

Attorney Julia Lynch says an 'I forgot' defense is not appropriate when a child dies because of a parent's negligence.

"If that's going to be allowed as an excuse of some sort that I shouldn't be held accountable or held responsible,then there would be no criminal statutes and no enforcement of any criminal statutes based upon that type of defense," Lynch told News 6.

The judge said Lillie knew at some point his daughter was in the car.

For that reason, he deemed the murder charge appropriate.

Prosecutors say over 700 children died nationwide last year after being left in hot cars. Adding up all his charges, Lillie could spend 40 years in prison.

About the Author: