Breaking News Story: Brevard Woman Arrested for Child Neglect and 20+ Chihuahuas Also Taken From Home
In August 2016 Tamara Daniels, 52 was arrested for two counts of Neglect of a Child Without Great Bodily harm after a Brevard County, Florida Sheriff’s Deputy initially noticed the condition of her home. Her two children and 24 Chihuahuas were apparently living in the home which officials said was filthy. The home was described as being caked with dog feces, full of trash, and live bugs.
The two children were removed from the home by the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”). Investigators said the children had dog feces clumped onto their feet and were not enrolled in school. While the disposition of the two children has not been reported, typically children removed from a parent will be placed with the nearest acceptable relative or, if no acceptable relative can be found, into foster care. In this case an acceptable relative would have had to not have known of the awful conditions the children were living in. Within twenty-four hours of the children being removed from the Port St. John home the Department of Children and Families will bring a Shelter Petition before the Brevard County Circuit Court in Viera, Florida. The Judge will make the initial decision on where the children are placed.
Florida Statute 827.03 defines the crimes of child abuse and child neglect. F.S.827.03(1)(e) provides:
(e)“Neglect of a child” means:
- A caregiver’s failure or omission to provide a child with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child; or
- A caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person. Except as otherwise provided in this section, neglect of a child may be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident or omission that results in, or could reasonably be expected to result in, serious physical or mental injury, or a substantial risk of death, to a child.
After the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office completes their investigation the State Attorney will decide what, if any, crimes Ms. Daniels can and should be formally charged with.
Ms. Daniels could also be facing cruelty to animals charges pursuant to Florida Statute 828.12. The animals were removed from the home. The Brevard SPCA took the animals and they will eventually be available for adoption. Officials did not describe the conditions of the animals.
It is always difficult to understand why a person would keep their children and animals living in such conditions and live in such conditions themselves. The mental health of a Defendant is always one thing a defense attorney would look at in such a case.
It is a defense if a person is so mentally ill that they do not know that what they are doing is wrong. In this case Ms. Daniels reportedly told deputies, “I know it’s bad. Please don’t take me to jail.” This statement would obviously damage any claim that Ms. Daniels did not know that what she was doing was wrong.
This case evokes great sympathy for the children and for the animals. Tamara Daniels’ actions are viewed with disgust in the community. Nevertheless it is the job of a defense attorney to uphold the Constitution of the United States and make every effort to ensure Ms. Daniels is treated fairly and under the law.
The lawyers at Mario Gunde Peters Rhoden & Kelley, LLC. have handled many tough cases over the years. We believe everyone is entitled to a vigorous defense. Call for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys (321) 631-0506. Two offices to serve you: Cocoa Village and Melbourne.
Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley is the largest and most experienced criminal law and family law firm in Brevard County. With seven attorneys, over 100 years combined experience, and hundreds of jury trials and bench trials the firm can handle your case. Reasonable fees ~ Free Initial Consultation ~ Experience ~ Communication
Celebrating 40 Years in 2016.