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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Parents of Child Killed by Alligator at Disney World Will Not Face Criminal Charges

South Jersey Criminal Defense LawyersIn the aftermath of the tragic death of a two-year-old child who was killed by an alligator while visiting Walt Disney World in Florida, there were some calls for the child’s parents to face criminal charges for neglect. However, it now appears that the parents will not be criminally charged in connection with the death.

The family of five was on vacation in Florida, having traveled to the Sunshine State from their home in Omaha, Nebraska. The fun-filled vacation to Florida soon turned into a nightmare when the youngest child, a two-year-old boy, was killed by an alligator.

The tragic incident drew national attention and generated countless headlines as news broke that a young child had been snatched by an alligator and dragged into a lagoon at the Walt Disney World resort. The victim was reportedly near the water on the beach when the alligator came out of nowhere and pulled him underneath the water and out of sight. The child’s father tried to fight off the alligator and save the child, but he was not able to do so. After an exhaustive search of the area, police rescue crews found the boy’s body just 15 feet from where he was first attacked by the alligator.

While most of the world expressed sympathy for the child’s parents, at least a few people wondered whether the parents might potentially be criminally liable for the death. Now the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida has weighed in on the matter and said that criminal charges are highly unlikely. Jerry Demings, the Sheriff of Orange County, Florida, recently stated that there is “nothing in this case to indicate that there was anything extraordinary” or that would lead law enforcement to believe that the parents were guilty of child neglect.

For more information about this tragic incident, go to to read, “Disney Gator Attack: Sheriff Says Criminal Charges against Parents Unlikely.”


If you or a loved one has been charged with child endangerment or any other kind of crime in New Jersey, you could be subject to significant criminal penalties. That’s why it is very important that you talk to a qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact John W. Tumelty today for a free consultation about your case.

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