Tennessee police have arrested and charged the parents of a 2-year-old that was left in a car overnight and died with murder, among other charges, according to WKRN.
Anthony and Jade Phillips were indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated child neglect, court records indicate.
As Crime Online recently reported, the child died while trapped inside a car at at 416 Laurel Ave., in Gatlinburg, outside of a house owned by Jerry Kirkland, the mayor of Westmoreland.
It has officially been confirmed that Jade Phillips is Kirkland’s daughter and the deceased infant, Kipp Phillips, was his grandson. Jade and Anthony Phillips had been living inside the home for several months, according to Knoxville News Sentinel.
The home where police found a toddler dead after being left in a vehicle overnight belongs to Mayor Jerry Kirkman. https://t.co/ccdsnhsoL4
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 19, 2017
Gatlinburg Police Chief Randall Brackins said the couple “couldn’t believe” their child died.
“They were distraught, very upset. They were very unbelieving of what was occurring. They just couldn’t believe it was happening.”
Brackins doesn’t believe drugs or alcohol played a factor in the child’s death, which occurred on July 14. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has not announced at which point during their inquiry they realized they had enough evidence to pick up both parents and charge them with murdering their 2-year-old son.
Both Anthony and Jade Phillips were booked into the Sumner County jail on $250,000 bond. They have been charged with felony murder, which does not assume intent, meaning that proof of neglect could be enough to convict the duo. Felony murder carries a life sentence with the possibility of parole.
Mayor Kirkland has yet to comment on the death of his grandson and the arrest of his daughter and her husband.
[Featured Image: Sumner County Jail]