TAMPA — A man whose two children died from heat exposure pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated manslaughter of a child Thursday.
Michael Jon Ervin Jr., 29, of Valrico, will serve 10 years in Florida State Prison under terms of a plea deal, his lawyers said Friday.
He was arrested in August 2009 in connection with the deaths of his daughter, 18-month-old Zionna, and son, 5-month-old Kaden, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies said Ervin drove his children to Brandon Regional Hospital on Aug. 13, 2009, pulled into the entrance to the hospital's women's center and asked for help. The children had core temperatures of 109.3 degrees and 105.6 degrees respectively. Hospital workers said the children's hearts were not pumping and their skin was hot and dry to the touch. Both babies died at the hospital that day.
Investigators have not released details about how the children's temperatures became elevated, if they know.
During the investigation, deputies said the children's mother, Enidlin Warren, heard crying at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 13, 2009, when she called Ervin on his cell phone. Warren, then 24, told investigators she tried calling back several times but didn't hear from Ervin until 2:30 p.m. when he called to tell her "something was wrong with the babies — they're not breathing."
He told her he was driving somewhere in Seffner and then drove the children to the hospital. A witness later reported that Ervin had smoked marijuana that day at 11 a.m.
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's Office said Zionna and Kaden died of environmental hyperthermia.
Judge Steven Stephens has set Ervin's sentencing for Oct. 22.