Mom charged in kids' deaths waives hearing

SMYRNA, Tenn. (AP) -- A Smyrna woman has waived a preliminary hearing, sending to a grand jury charges that she left her two children to perish in a hot car.

According to The Daily News Journal, an October empanelment of the grand jury will hear the police case against 25-year-old Samantha Harper. She was arrested on two counts of especially aggravated child abuse.

Public Defender Gerald Melton said Thursday he believes no criminal acts occurred.

Investigators said Harper put 2-year-old, Savannah Marise, and 3-year-old, Daniel Marise in her car at the family's home on Aug. 2 and then went back into the house and fell asleep. She found the children dead about three hours later.

The National Weather Service said the high temperature that day reached 99 degrees in Smyrna.

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus


6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 168142206 -
Gray Television, Inc.