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October 7, 2013

Prison sentence issued in manslaughter case involving child death

GREENVILLE — A local woman has been sentenced to prison for leaving her infant son in a vehicle last December, then not telling physicians she had done so for two days, which may have helped result in the child’s death.

Sheryl Ann Jackson of Greenville pleaded guilty in July to one count of manslaughter, as she admitted in connection with the death of 6 month-old Tytus Hoskins.

A punishment hearing was conducted Friday in the 196th District Court after which the jury returned a sentence of 11 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division.

Manslaughter is a second degree felony, punishable by a maximum sentence of from two to 20 years in prison and an optional fine of up to $10,000.

Jackson had asked the court to consider probation as a sentence in the case, whereas prosecutors had filed a motion asking the court to allow the introduction of extraneous offenses and previous misdemeanor convictions on Jackson’s criminal record.

Jackson previously pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder, which accused Jackson of “intentionally or knowingly committing or attempting to commit an act clearly dangerous to human life” — namely leaving Hoskins unattended in a vehicle for more than two hours on Dec. 1, 2012 — and/or “not informing doctors for two days that Tytus Hoskins had been left in the car unattended, that caused the death of Tytus Hoskins.”

During a July 15 hearing, Jackson agreed to plead guilty to the charge of manslaughter, admitting she acted recklessly in causing Hoskins’ death.

The Greenville Police Department reported Hoskins began to succumb to exposure and the consequences of exposure on the day when the temperature rose to 81 degrees.

Jackson retrieved the child and sought medical attention, allegedly telling emergency personnel the child felt hot, but not informing them Hoskins had been left inside the vehicle.

 The boy was transported to the Hunt Regional Medical Center and then later by air ambulance to a Dallas hospital where he died.

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