For Immediate Release 2/13/2017
On February 10, 2017, Wilbert Carter received an 8-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter and 30-days for confining a child unattended in a motor vehicle. Carter’s sentences will run concurrently. Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the abandonment of his 2-year old daughter in a locked car for more than 16 hours on June 22, 2015. Temperatures reached a high of 89 degrees Fahrenheit while his daughter, Leasia, remained in the vehicle.
Special Victims Unit Chief and Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess prosecuted the case.
Carter’s daughter was found dead—still strapped in her car seat shortly before 5:00 p.m. on June 22, 2015. Carter had been drinking throughout the prior day and evening. According to investigators, Carter left his sister’s home after midnight heavily intoxicated, parked his car, and staggered to a woman’s porch and passed out.
The woman told investigators that she heard knocking at her door at 3:00 a.m. but did not answer her door. At 7:00 a.m. she discovered Carter passed out on her porch, smelling of alcohol. After she awakened Carter, she drove him to his home where he slept until 4:30 p.m. When Carter awoke, he realized his daughter was missing and ran to his car which was parked a few blocks away.
Carter’s daughter was left in the car from midnight to 4:30 p.m. The two-year-old died of hyperthermia.
“Carter’s prosecution demonstrates our intolerance of such child neglect, where the neglectful care rises to the level of a crime,” said Leitess. “We are charged with the duty to prosecute cases to the fullest extent of the law, even those cases involving a family member. We are pleased that Wilbert Carter received a significant sentence for the role he played in the tragic death of his daughter.”
Carter was convicted in December of 2016.
“This is a tough case; in cases of neglect that lead to the death of a child, as a community, we have all suffered a loss, ” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “A parent should never lose a child in this manner. I commend Assistant State’s Attorney Leitess who has gone beyond the call of duty. The diligence required to see this case through to maximum sentencing, as well as the care afforded to the family is exemplary.”