A South Carolina man who left his 19-month-old daughter to die in a burning car during a police chase three years ago, has sentenced to serve 28 years in prison
Imhotep O. Norman, 28, of Spartanburg, SC was sentenced Tuesday, according to the office of 7th Circuit
Norman pled guilty to homicide by child abuse and failure to stop for law enforcement lights and sirens
He also pled guilty to possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking Methamphetamine and possession with the intent to distribute Amphetamine, Oxycodone and possession of Xanax
Norman failed to stop when officers tried to stop him for speeding back on April 12, 2019
A chase ensued, during his car caught fire
It was engulfed with flames by the time he pulled over and fled into the woods, leaving his toddler inside the blaze
Xena Norman died from thermal burns and acute carbon monoxide poisoning after being left in the vehicle by her dad
The fugitive, who was arrested hours after fleeing into the woods, told investigators he thought the pursuing officers would rescue her
He denies knowing that the car was on fire, despite police dashcam footage showing the extent of the blaze
He will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he’s eligible for parole
A South Carolina drug dealer who left his 19 month-old daughter to die in a burning car while he fled cops following a chase has been jailed for 28 years.
Imhotep O. Norman of Spartanburg was sentenced Tuesday, according to the office of 7th Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette over on April 12, 2019 death of his daughter Xena, who died of thermal burns and carbon monoxide poisoning. Norman told the court he believed the cops who’d pulled him over would rescue Xena from the flames.
Norman, 28, pled guilty of homicide by child abuse, failure to stop for blue lights and sirens, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking methamphetamine and possession with the intent to distribute amphetamine, possession of oxycodone and possession of Xanax, according to Solicitor Barry Barnette.
The toddler died after her father was spotted speeding by cops, who attempted to pull him over.
A chase ensued, with flames and sparks filmed flying out of the car by a police dashcam.
It is unclear what triggered the blaze, but Norman kept driving instead of stopping to seek help – and when he eventually stopped, he thought of saving himself only.
He abandoned his young daughter Xena to perish in the flames.
The chase saw Norman drive over the median of SC Highway 14 and onto Interstate 85, where troopers forced him into the right lane.
Authorities said a bag was thrown and later recovered from the moving car as the pursuit was coming to a close.
The bag tested positive for marijuana.
After coming to a stop, Norman jumped from the burning vehicle and as he ran away, a trooper saw him toss a backpack that held illegal drugs, the solicitor’s office said.
Firefighters found his daughter’s body in the back seat of the car after extinguishing the fire.
Xena Norman died from burns and acute carbon monoxide poisoning, the office said.
The entire car chase, flames and all, was released in a shocking dashcam video taken by one of the pursuing officer’s cameras by the Spartanburg Herald Journal.
The toddler’s father, who was arrested hours after fleeing into the woods, told investigators he thought the pursuing officers would rescue her.
Norman had appeared before a Spartanburg County judge back on April 13, 2019, just a day after his daughter Xena was killed.
His bond was denied during that 2019 court appearance.
According to Fox Carolina, Norman told the judge: ‘I just know that the car wasn’t on fire when I got out the car. I would have stayed in that car with my daughter.’
‘I would have never got out the car while the car was on fire. I seen sparks coming from under the tires when I tried to stop and I couldn’t stop at that point. I don’t know why what happened to the car were I couldn’t stop.’
During the bond hearing, Norman’s mother spoke on his behalf.
‘He loved her so much,’ his mother said through tears.
Following the little girl’s death, her mother, Thaisha Young, started a GoFundMe page back in April 2019 seeking donations for funeral expenses.
The online fundraiser raised $5,245 raised of a $8,000 goal.
‘I am going through a rough time, I have lost the love of my life MY BABY, MY HEART, MY FIRST CHILD AND ONLY,’ Young wrote in the GoFundMe’s description section.
‘This situation I am facing has affected my ENTIRE LIFE!’ Young wrote on the account.
Norman will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he’s eligible for release, the solicitor’s office said.