Murder Charge in Death of Toddler

Murder Charge in Death of Toddler

Sean Michael Kothe

Santa Barbara County – In the late afternoon of June 26th, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrived at Santa Maria’s Marian Regional Medical Center following an alert of possible child endangerment and abuse reported by hospital staff.

According to SBSD Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover, deputies quickly learned that a 19-month-old female toddler and her 21-year-old mother had been “dropped off by the mother’s boyfriend.”

Doctors “determined the child suffered from head trauma” and was transferred to Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera for additional treatment.

The investigation soon turned grim as detectives were given information by the young mother “which was inconsistent” with the injuries diagnosed by doctors. Investigators learned that the mother, Jackeline Molina-Rodriguez, a resident of Oceano, had been staying at the Orcutt residence of Sean Michael Kothe, 24.

Deputies obtained a search warrant of Kothe’s premises and served it at 2:00 a.m. on the morning of June 27th, pursuant to which he was arrested for an outstanding warrant and possession of drug paraphernalia and then transported to Santa Barbara County Jail for booking on those charges.

Approximately 36 hours later, the 19-month-old toddler died. Additional investigation immediately followed, with deputies interviewing family members and medical staff in Madera.

“Based on the evidence collected” in that effort, Kothe was then charged with murder and assault on a child causing death, with his bail set at $1,000,000.

Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking

Murder Charge in Death of Toddler was last modified: July 7th, 2016 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara

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