Manslaughter charges may not hold against Florida mother whose baby died in a hot car

The mom charged with manslaughter after her infant died in a hot car bonded out of jail, and the charges may not hold up in court.

Earlier this week, a baby was found dead in a hot car while her parents attended and preached at a local church.

Palm Bay police arrested the mother, Bulaine Molme, on Thursday on one count of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child.

On Friday, the mother posted a $15,000 bond to get out of jail. Moving forward, a local criminal defense attorney says this case will be difficult to prove in court.

Palm Bay police say they were called to Mount of Olives Evangelical Church on Sunday for reports of an unresponsive baby. The baby later died, and police say it had been left in a hot car for at least three hours.

"If you really assume someone is taking the baby, then I think you have a good defense," said board-certified criminal trial expert, Geoff Golub.

Golub isn’t associated with this specific case, but he has defended clients relating to leaving babies in cars. In those cases, no children were harmed, but he’s familiar with the manslaughter charges used in cases like this.


He said, in this case, manslaughter may not stick.

"I don’t know what the state is going to do," he said. "I think sometimes you just have tragic things that happen. Obviously, she is going to be scarred for the rest of her life."

These tragedies happen more often than people may think. Florida is second in the nation for hot car deaths and doctors say, parents aren’t always to blame.

"They had every intention to stop at daycare, to take their child there, and as they're driving they go into an autopilot mode, and we have a brain memory system that puts us into that autopilot mode, and in fact what it does is it suppresses our conscious memory system so that we're more likely than to do something out of habit," said David Diamond who’s a USF Psychology Professor.

Police say the mother in this case was late for church and thought another member of the church had grabbed the baby.

Golub says a child abuse charge makes more sense in this case because culpable negligence will be hard to prove.

"If in fact, she was going in a hurry, she was going in to give a sermon or something and she truly believed someone else was taking the baby I think that you have a very good defense because I don’t think you can show she had a reckless disregard or she just didn’t care what happened," Golub concluded.

The current manslaughter charge she's facing is punishable with up to 30 years in prison.