The Kanterman case

It has been the single question that has haunted me since we first heard of the tragedy that played out in that Marple parking lot back in June.

Little Nicholas McCorkle was safely tucked into his car seat in the back of his grandfather’s SUV on one of the hottest days of the summer.

Only Edward Kanterman did not drop the tot off at the day care center as he normally did. Instead, he drove to the tech school in the Lawrence Park Shopping Center where he taught a course, parked the SUV, closed the door and hurried inside.

It is something any of us have done any number of times as we rush through our daily schedule.

With one horrific difference. Little Nicholas was still in the back seat. Police believe temperatures inside the vehicle soared well over 100 degrees. Nicholas was not discovered until Kanterman came back to his SUV shortly after lunch. By then it was too late.

And the question remains. How could this happen? The answer is one most of us probably would rather not admit. It could happen all too easily.

I like to tell myself there is no way I could ever forget that precious cargo inside the car. The truth is while I would like that to be the case, deep down inside, there is a nagging doubt.

Yesterday Edward Kanterman entered a plea in the case. He pleaded “no contest” to a charge of involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to three years probation and 200 hours of community service.

A clearly repentant Kanterman told our courthouse reporter, Marlene DiGiacomo, that he simply did not want to put his family through the ordeal of a trial. That’s why he entered the plea, against the advice of his attorney.

“I live with it every day,” Kanterman said.

The truth is Kanterman already has been given a much tougher sentence than the one meted out in court yesterday.

He has sentenced himself to life, a life in which every day he will be haunted by what happened on that sweltering June morning, and what he possibly could have done differently.

The rest of us can certainly sympathize with Kanterman, even as we wonder how this could have happened.

And fight back the demons that tell us it could happen all too easily.


Anonymous said…
three years probation and 200 hours of community service.
THIS SOUNDS LIKE SENTENCE YOU WOULD GET FOR A DUI CONVICTION... IT WAS JUST PLAIN NEGLIGENCE ON HIS PART, HOW FORGETFUL CAN ONE BE.. Mr Kanterman is very fortunate in this instance...a sentence of 5-10 years imprisonment would have sufficient in this case. He took a life and he had no right to, carelessness is no excuse for the law.