Family and friends say Seth Jackson waited his entire life to become a foster parent. Now, Jackson faces a life behind bars for what prosecutors are calling murder of his 10-month-old foster daughter.
"I went up to see him yesterday and suffice to say he's hysterical," Leslie Hulnick, Jackson's defense attorney, said.
Police arrested Jackson for aggravated child endangerment after he told police he left his foster daughter, 10-month-old Kadillak Poe-Jones, in the back seat of his Dodge Charger.
Police said the child had been left in the car for at least two hours. Temperatures that day were in the 90s, but police said it was hotter inside the car.
Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett formally charged Jackson with murder in the first degree Wednesday
Hulnick calls the charges "ludicrous."
"There is not one scintilla of intent on behalf of my client to hurt or harm any of those children," Hulnick said.
After a few days on suicide watch, Hulnick said he is worried about Jackson going back into the jail's general population.
"This is a young man who's never been in any trouble before," Hulnick said. "He is a church-goer, he is a senior at WSU, all his family ties are here. He's not going any place. I'd like to see if we can get him out."
Hulnick said getting Jackson out will be difficult with bond set at $250,000. Hulnick plans to fight for a lower bond and what he calls a more realistic plea, like involuntary manslaughter.
"This young man is looking at the same sentence as if he walked into somebody's home or a store, pulled out a firearm and shot them," said Hulnick. "These are two horses of a very different color."
Hulnick said this situation does not compare to premeditated murder. He said a family man with no criminal history should not be treated like a cold-blooded killer.
Bennett said the first-degree murder charge against Jackson is not for premeditation or intent. He says it is because the child's death occurred during the commission of another felony. In this case, child endangerment.
If convicted of first-degree murder, a life sentence would mean at least 20 years in prison for Jackson.