• Defense for woman accused of leaving 3-year-old in day care van wants some evidence thrown out

    By: Jeff Deal , Chip Skambis

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Defense attorneys for the woman accused of leaving 3-year-old Myles Hill in the back of a hot day care van in 2017 want evidence of detectives demonstrating how the van’s locks worked thrown out. 

    Deborah St. Charles, the driver of the van, faces a charge of manslaughter of a child after Hill was found dead in the back of the van at the now-defunct Little Miracles day care. 

    In the days that followed, Orlando police detectives took video inside the dilapidated van showing how hard it would have been for anyone to get out of it. 

    “It’s hard and difficult to press up. It’s recessed,” a detective can be heard saying. 

    An attorney for St. Charles filed a motion to try to keep that door lock video from being used at trial. 

    He referred to the video as an “experiment” and wrote it has “no bearing on the case at hand whatsoever” since the detective is speculating and there’s no evidence showing Hill woke up and tried to get out of the van. 

    “There’s no evidence to support that the facts are consistent with the experiment,” said Bill Sheaffer, WFTV legal analyst. 

    Orlando police also tested the temperature in the van over several hours and found it got to more than 130 degrees. 

    St. Charles’s attorney wants that “experiment” kept out of trial as well, since there is no dispute how Hill died and the van was given back to the day care and then disposed of. 

    “The defense can’t duplicate this experiment. What does that do? That denies the defense effective cross examination. It’s a denial of due process,” said Sheaffer. 

    Sheaffer said of the motions filed in this case, these are the strongest. He believes prosecutors will have a hard time getting this evidence in. 

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