A mother left her three children alone in a car while she went into a cellphone repair shop. Sadly, the children did not sit quietly and wait for their mother to return. Instead, the 6-year-old beat his infant sister to death. The mother has been charged with aggravated manslaughter.

According to reports, Kathleen Marie Steele, 62, left her 6-year-old, 3-year-old and infant in the car. She was gone for approximately 30 minutes or more. While she was inside the store, the baby began to cry inside the car. The 6-year-old beat the child in an attempt to make her stop crying. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gulatieri said that the young boy was tossing the infant around the car like a rag doll.

The boy will not be held accountable for his actions, but his mother will be. The remaining two children have been placed in foster care, and a no contact order has been asked for.

Gulatieri said that Steele’s husband passed away in 2011, and Steele was artificially inseminated with her husband’s frozen sperm to conceive her two youngest children. Despite friends and family saying that the woman was struggling to raise the young children, Steele said she hoped to have more.

The sheriff also said that numerous witness accounts depict Steele as an inattentive mother. He said that the 6-year-old has aggression and behavior issues. Child protective services had responded to the Steele home in recent months due to injuries sustained by the baby. Those visits resulted in findings of accidental injury.

Steele has appeared in court to be advised formally of her charges. The date of her next appearance has not been released to the public at this time.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime in Orlando, call our team of criminal defense attorneys. We will review the details of your case at no cost to you and advise you of your appropriate next steps. Call today or browse our website for more information about our firm.

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