Jury Finds Couple Guilty Of Murder For Leaving Daughter in Hot Car

A report shows that a jury in South Carolina found a woman and her boyfriend guilty of killing the woman’s disabled child by leaving her in a hot vehicle.

Local media reported that the mother of the victim, Rita Pangalangan, was given 37 years in prison for murder and 20 years for severe bodily harm, and Larry King Jr. was given 32 years in prison for murder and 20 years for severe bodily injury. The couple’s sentences will run concurrently.
As reported, state’s attorney Duffie Stone said in his closing arguments that the defendants tortured Cristina Pangalangan, Pangalangan’s 13-year-old daughter who is wheelchair-bound and non-verbal, by leaving her in the vehicle on a scorching day in August 2019.

A climatology specialist from the University of Georgia testified that the heat index in the car likely surpassed 135 degrees.

Throughout the day, King and Rita could be seen bickering on the porch swing and in the entryway of their house, as captured by the surveillance cameras. They went inside and had intercourse for about an hour at one point, according to King’s testimony.

The pair realized they were locked out of the automobile four hours after Cristina was put inside. King took both defendants to Pangalangan’s residence in his pickup to look for a spare key.

Cristina Pangalangan’s skin was burned, and her diaper was soiled when she was taken out of the car. Her body temperature recorded by the Colleton County Coroner’s Office was 109.9 degrees. Cristina Pangalangan breathed vomit into her lungs as her body shut down, according to testimony from a forensic pathologist at the Medical University of South Carolina.

According to reporting, Stone said that this pattern of activity ultimately led to murder and that being under the influence of meth does not constitute a defense in South Carolina.

The jury deliberated for a little over two hours before reaching a decision.

The lawyer for Pangalangan has already said that they want to appeal.