Sometimes people do horrifying things. Take, for instance, Richmond Phillips, a D.C. police officer, who allegedly shot his baby mama and then left their infant daughter to die in a hot car. Yes, you read that right. A police officer is being charged with the murders of his mistress and his daughter.

Phillips was arrested in June 2011 after 20-year-old Wynetta Wright was found dead in the park where the two met. Their daughter Jaylin was found dead in her car seat with the doors closed and the windows rolled up. She was days shy of her first birthday.

Maryland state attorney Angela Alsobrooks said in opening statements Monday that Richmond Phillips was involved in a paternity dispute with Wright, and killed the two to avoid paying child support. He’s being tried on two counts of first-degree murder, as well as child abuse and firearms charges.

Just ... wow. It’s bad enough to imagine anyone doing something this terrible, but it’s even worse to think about a police officer doing it. Cops are supposed to uphold the law and protect us from murderers -- not become murderers themselves. Especially over something like child support. What kind of monster would put his baby in a hot car to die because she’s too expensive?

Phillips is maintaining his innocence, and his defense attorney Brian Denton told the court that the evidence is circumstantial.

No matter who did it, my heart breaks for that little girl and her mama. I just hope that Jaylin wasn’t in pain as she died. I just googled it, because apparently I’m a masochist and can’t help myself, and found out that children die very quickly when left in cars. The windows create a greenhouse effect that raises the temperature inside the car 35 degrees within minutes. Since babies and small children are unable to regulate their own body temperatures very well, they can die of hyperthermia within 15 minutes on a 75-degree day. On a summer day in Maryland, it’s likely that Jaylin didn’t suffer for very long. At least there’s that.

What a sucky tragedy. RIP Wynetta and Jaylin.

Does this story make you want to hug your babies a little bit tighter?


Image via mjtmail/Flickr