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Baltimore father gets 8 years in prison for toddler's hot car death

A Baltimore father convicted of manslaughter for leaving his toddler in a hot car has been sentenced to eight years in prison, the State's Attorney's Office confirmed Monday.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Jeannie Hong sentenced Wilbert Carter, 32, on Thursday for the June 2015 death of 2 1/2 year old daughter Leasia, who he forgot was in her car seat after he returned from drinking with a relative.

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His attorney Margaret Mead said she sought less prison time. "His two other daughters just adore him," Mead said. "It's such a tragedy, because everybody really suffers with this."

In December, Carter was convicted by a jury of manslaughter, reckless endangerment and confining an unattended child. He was acquitted of the most serious charge of second-degree depraved heart murder.

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Carter took the stand during the trial. "I take responsibility for what happened to my daughter," he told jurors.

Prosecutors said Carter had been celebrating Father's Day with family and drinking with a relative on June 21, 2015, when he returned home to Northeast Baltimore. He parked the car and left Leasia in her car seat.

He woke up passed out on the front porch of a female friend who lived nearby, then returned home and slept until 4 p.m. before the girl's body was discovered. Temperatures reached 89 degrees that day.

Carter said he never previously drank gin, but he and his brother-in-law split a fifth of Tanqueray.

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"It was a horrible mistake, and that's all I can say," he said during the trial.

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