A South Carolina man was on Tuesday sentenced to 28 years in prison for leaving his 19-month-old daughter to die in a burning car after he abandoned the vehicle during a police chase in 2019.
According to New York Post, 28-year-old Imhotep Norman received the sentence after he pleaded guilty to a slew of charges including homicide by child abuse, failure to stop for police, and other drug-related offenses.
Authorities said Norman was in the company of his daughter, Xena Norman, when the South Carolina Highway Patrol attempted pulling him over for overspeeding. Norman, however, did not pull over and sped off – prompting a police chase. During the pursuit, smoke and fire started emanating from the suspect’s vehicle, and that caused him to stop at a certain point.
But police said Norman abandoned Xena in the burning vehicle and ran into the woods. The deceased minor’s body was discovered by firefighters after they put out the fire.
Authorities arrested Norman several hours later. The suspect told police he thought they would rescue Xena from the burning car after he took to his heels.
“That was my little angel,” Xena’s grandmother told The Greenville News in 2019 following the tragic incident. “We know she’s gone to heaven. That’s the one thing we know is that little angel’s gone to heaven.”