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South Carolina man receives 28 years for leaving daughter to die in burning car

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SPARTANBURG COUTNY, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg man received a 28-year prison sentence Tuesday for leaving his 19-month-old daughter to die in a burning car while he fled the scene to avoid a police pursuit in April 2019.

Imhotep Norman, 28, pleaded guilty of homicide by child abuse, failure to stop for a blue light and siren, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking methamphetamine and possession of with intent to distribute amphetamine, possession of oxycodone, and possession of xanax.

According to the Spartanburg County Solicitor’s Office, Norman’s daughter, Xena Norman, died April 12, 2019 due to acute carbon monoxide poisoning and thermal burns.

We previously reported that troopers attempted to stop Norman’s 2015 Hyundai Sonata on Highway 14 near Johns Road for speeding on April 12, 2019. Norman drove over the median of Highway 14 and traveled northbound on I-85. 

The car was fully engulfed in flames before troopers forced Norman to the right lane of the road near the 60-mile marker. Norman jumped from the burning car and left his daughter in her car seat.

After extinguishing the fire, firefighters found Xena Norman.

Norman fled into a nearby wooded area and he was arrested hours later during a traffic stop near USC Upstate. After his arrest, Norman acknowledged leaving the child in the car during a post-arrest interview. He told investigators he thought law enforcement would rescue the child.

During the pursuit, a trooper watched Norman toss a backpack containing an assortment of illegal drugs out of the moving vehicle. Sheriff’s deputies recovered the backpack.

Norman will serve 85 percent of his prison sentence before he is eligible for release.

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