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Orcutt Man Accused in Toddler’s Death Faces Additional Charges

Sean Michael Kothe Click to view larger
Sean Michael Kothe

A man arrested in connection with a toddler’s death in Orcutt last year will face additional charges for allegedly dissuading a witness and committing cruelty to a child in separate incidents.

Sean Michael Kothe, 25, of Orcutt originally was charged with murder and assault on a child causing death.

However, Deputy District Attorney Tiffany Dix recently filed an amended complaint also charging Kothe with one other felony count and two misdemeanors charges.

In Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Wednesday, Kothe, who is represented by attorney Stephen Andrade, pleaded not guilty to all the charges, Dix said.

Kothe was arrested after his girlfriend, Jackeline Molina-Rodriguez of Oceano, showed up at Marian Regional Medical Center with her 18-month-old daughter, Delilah Cassio-Molina, on June 26.

Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the hospital when medical staff determined the toddler’s injuries didn’t match the mother’s story.

Due to the severity of the injuries, the child was transported to Valley Children’s Healthcare in Madera, where doctors determined the girl was brain dead, and life-saving measures were halted two days later.

Kothe, who originally was taken into custody for an outstanding warrant and narcotics-related allegations, later was charged in connection with the toddler’s death.

The third count alleges Kothe dissuaded a witness by force or threat on Aug. 20.

He also faces two new misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a child in his care or custody, stemming from incidents occurring on or about May 5 and June 23.

A criminal protective order was filed for the victim, identified as John Doe in the amended complaint, that Kothe allegedly tried to dissuade from talking to law enforcement officers..

The case is scheduled to return to court March 1, when the attorneys expect to set a date for the preliminary hearing, Dix said. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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