Lindale Father Faces Manslaughter Charges After Infant Daughter Died In Truck - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/9/06-Lindale

Lindale Father Faces Manslaughter Charges After Infant Daughter Died In Truck

This afternoon, the baby's father, Kevin Petty voluntarily surrendered.   Petty along with his wife and attorney, walked into the Smith county courthouse this afternoon, for a private arraignment. That's when Petty was told he would face manslaughter charges.  

Yesterday, his daughter four-month-old Kerrigan Petty, was found dead inside his truck, parked on a Lindale street.

Lindale Police Chief Dan Somes said, "He had two kids and was a devoted Christian, and a very devoted husband and father. Chief Somes has known Kevin Petty for seven years. "

Petty works full time at Goodyear Tires. He has been a Reserve Sergeant at Lindale police department for eight years.

Chief Somes said, "He was an outstanding guy. He would do anything for you he did a great job as an officer and was promoted to the sergeant in the reserves and ran the reserve department."

 According to Judge James Cowart, Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5- Petty was attending a educational seminar for the police department in Canton yesterday. "He came to the office in his personnel vehicle and left in a patrol car around 7 o'clock, or prior to 7 o'clock, and then went to the school in Canton."

Petty's four-month-old baby girl Kerrigan Petty was still in the truck. After the seminar, Petty drove back to Lindale and it wasn't until 3:20p.m., more than 8 hours later; when reality set in.

Judge Cowart said, "He was remembering the events of the day. The way I understand it, and thinking well- I've got to stop and pick up my child from daycare, and then it dawned on him that he didn't remember dropping off his child at the daycare."

At that point, Judge Cowart says Petty called dispatch and asked for officers to meet him at his truck. "Three officers met him at the truck. or got there about the same time he got there. and he (Petty) opened the truck at that point."

Kerrigan was already dead. According to Petty's attorney, he and his wife alternated taking Kerrigan to a sitter's house.

Brett Harrison, Petty's Attorney said, "It wasn't out of the ordinary that he was taking one of the children to childcare. But getting through the day was a little different than the normal daily routine. "

Today, Petty voluntarily surrendered. The manslaughter charge is a second degree felony.

Many who know him best, are in disbelief. Chief Somes said, "You leave your thoughts and prayers with the family, and support them the best you can. You prayer the Lord helps them through this.

Petty's bail was set at $25,000. He has bonded out. An autopsy has been ordered, and is being performed at Southeast Forensics in Tyler.

Karolyn Davis, kdavis@kltv.com; reporting

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