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Preliminary Hearing Set For Orcutt Man Charged With Toddler’s Death

Sean Michael Kothe Click to view larger
Sean Michael Kothe

A preliminary hearing has been set for the Orcutt man charged in connection with a toddler’s death last year.

However, the case against Sean Michael Kothe, 25, of Orcutt, will return to Santa Barbara County Superior Court later this month due to a possible plea deal.

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 with murder and assault on a child causing death.

Earlier this year, Deputy District Attorney Tiffany Dix filed additional charges against Kothe.

The third felony 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.

On Wednesday, Judge Gustavo Lavayen set the preliminary hearing for 8:30 a.m. May 12 after defense attorney Stephen Andrade estimated they would need half a day. 

However, Andrade said an offer is pending so he sought another date for attorneys to return in case a deal is reached. The preliminary hearing setting is scheduled for March 29.

Kothe remains in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail.

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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