Sedgwick DA: Foster Dad High Around Time Child Left In Hot Car

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -- The Sedgwick County District Attorney is alleging that a foster father was high while a baby was left in a hot car last week. She later died.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett read the allegations during a bond reduction hearing for Seth Jackson on Friday afternoon.

Bennett said that Jackson had run out of marijuana on the morning of July 24. That afternoon, he reportedly took two children to meet with his drug dealer where he bought more.

When he got home, Bennett said he left the 10-month-old girl in the car, went inside and smoked marijuana. He didn't realize the child was still in the car until more than two hours later, but she was already dead.

Since he believes Jackson was high on the day she died, he supports the higher bond amount. Even with the first degree murder charge, Bennett does not feel Jackson is a flight risk.

Jackson can be free on a $50,000 surety bond.

Jackson's attorney, Les Hulnick, told KAKE News this is the first he's heard of the marijuana allegations. He also called the first degree murder charge "ludicrous." He expects Jackson to bond out of jail before 5 p.m. Friday.

Jackson's adopted children are now in state custody. Other children he and his partner were fostering have also been removed from the home.

Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore released another statement following Friday's developments:

“Should the allegations prove to be true, I am appalled that a precious, helpless child suffered such an unthinkable death while her foster parent was allegedly using drugs. We expect parents to protect and care for their children. We expect even more of our foster parents. They have a duty to put the children in their care before themselves always and provide a loving, safe environment. This incident is a rare exception to the otherwise strong record of foster care safety in Kansas. Drug use is not tolerated among our foster parents.”