UPDATE: Suspect responsible for her children's death sentenced to 16-years

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Above: Most recent mugshot of Harper - taken on 6/18/14

We have more news on the woman who claims she was asleep in her Smyrna home when her two children died in her car during the summer of 2012.

26-Year old Samantha Harper told Smyrna Police on August 2nd that she put her two young children in her car then went inside her home and fell asleep. The children, ages 2 and 3, later died of a heat stroke due to the excessive heat in the vehicle.  

Harper was later charged with two counts of aggravated child neglect and two counts of felony child murder after Savannah and Daniel Marise died. On Wednesday, the mother entered a guilty plea to lesser charges of attempted aggravated child neglect before the honorable Judge Keith Siskin.


Several media outlets reported that Harper had no previous criminal record, which is true, however, an investigation did surround her several years ago. Before the death of her two children in 2012, Harper had a child neglect report filed against her in 2011 by LaVergne Police. That report generated a referral to the Department of Children’s Services, however an arrest was not made in that case.

Harper was sentenced to 16-years behind bars. She now must serve at least 8-years before she is eligible for parole.


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child deaths, children left in car, Daniel Marise, hot car death, Samantha Harper, Savannah Marise, Smyrna news
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