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Black Dad Charged with Murder for Leaving Baby in Hot Car, Lawyer Claims ‘Blatant Racism’ for Inconsistencies in Charges

Joshua Lewis Blunt and his 8-month-old daughter, Shania Rihanna Caradine. Photo courtesy of

Joshua Lewis Blunt and his 8-month-old daughter, Shania Rihanna Caradine. Photo courtesy of

A Mississippi father has been charged with murder after his 8-month-old daughter died in a hot car Thursday.

According to the Clarion-Ledger, Joshua Lewis Blunt left his infant daughter, Shania Rihanna Caradine, in his car for “some period of time” while he worked inside a restaurant located on Scenic Loop 333. A passerby noticed the baby in the vehicle and quickly contacted 911.

It was unclear how long the child had been inside the car, but Grenada County Deputy Coroner Jo Morman told the Clarion-Ledger the baby was “hyperthermic” when she was discovered. The infant was then taken inside the restaurant and later “rushed outside” once paramedics arrived, the paper reports.  Little Shania was transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, where she was later pronounced dead.

This is Mississippi’s second hot-car death in the last two weeks, WLBT reports.

According to the news station, a 2-year-old in Madison County died after she was accidentally left in an overheated car. Per Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker, the toddler’s mother went to work and forgot her child in the back of the vehicle. When she went to pick up her daughter from day care later that day, the staffers informed her that she never dropped the child off, the Clarion-Ledger reports.

Unlike Blunt, however, the Madison County mother never faced criminal charges, leaving many to think that the 25-year-old’s arrest and conviction were racially motivated, according to WLBT.

“Most certainly not,” said Major George Douglas of the Granada Police Department. “This police department doesn’t investigate cases based on race or gender or religion. We just investigate the facts, that I am not at liberty to discuss at the moment, that lead us to this point.”

The mother’s race has yet to be revealed.

Blunt’s lawyer, Carlos Moore, also blames “blatant racism” for his client’s second-degree murder charge.

“The people making the decisions are white,” Moore said. “It’s unquestionably related to racism. If this man had been any other color besides Black, I believe he would be at home, grieving like a normal father and preparing for a funeral.”

On Monday, the attorney also told the Clarion-Ledger that he expects his client’s charge to be reduced to culpable negligence, which carries a sentence of up to one year behind bars. Moore’s claim was backed up by Grenada City Prosecutor Jennifer Adams, according to the Washington Post.

Moore described Blunt’s situation as a “tragic accident” that stemmed from a hectic Thursday morning.

“He thought he had dropped the child off at her grandmother’s house,” the attorney explained to the Clarion-Ledger. “He had no idea the child was in there.”

Moore also says his client is “a basket case” and visibly “distraught” about what happened, the Washington Post reports.

Family friend Rhonda Hubbard told WLBT it’s hard to believe Blunt would do something like this.

“My initial reaction is very shocked, very devastating, but it can happen,” she said.

According to the Clarion-Ledger, Blunt remains in the Grenada County jail on a $250,000 bond. His daughter’s body has since been sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.

The Granada Police Department also issued a statement on the tragic incident, which reads:

“The Grenada Police victim advocate is working to assist the mother, Candice Caradine as well as the father Joshua Blunt. The Grenada Police Department is saddened because of this death. The Grenada Police would like to caution parents to check their vehicles to insure that children are not left inside unattended during the hot summer months.”

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2 thoughts on “Black Dad Charged with Murder for Leaving Baby in Hot Car, Lawyer Claims ‘Blatant Racism’ for Inconsistencies in Charges

  1. I'm very sad that the lawyer is turning this precious child's death and the father's arrest into a race issue. Sickening. He's grasping at straws to save his client, but this is grossly out of bounds. His baby daughter died because he neglected to take care of her and protect her from something that was utterly preventable, had he just paid attention. Others who have done the same thing have been charged as well, irregardless of the fact that they are white. Laws, sadly, vary from state to state, and cases vary as well. Judges vary. Maybe the woman who's baby just died a couple weeks ago should be charged as well, now that he mentions it. Maybe they are in the process of doing just that. Sometimes it takes longer than others, but it doesn't mean it won't happen. If you are responsible for the death of your child, or someone else's, you should take responsibility for it, not deny it. If someone else had been responsible for the death of his child, he certainly would be looking for justice.

  2. I live in Mississippi and I am white. The Madison (white) mother was never charged and won't be. She has been protected. No pictures and no names. So this young father charged right away is so wrong. I can see why they are complaining. This father never got to grieve or bury his child, this other mother did. I know because I am close to the case. So if one is to be charged then all unless it's something like drugs or whatever then charge definitely. Both of these parents were extremely negligent and ere seems to be a lot of that going on lately but be fair. All these people have to do is check their back seats before leaving car. But the Grenada law is wrong or the Madison law is wrong. As I said Madison mother been very protected.

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