Deadbeat Drug Dealer Dad Left Toddler Daughter To Die In Burning Car

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A drug dealer, who left his toddler daughter to die in a burning car, has rightfully earned the title of “deadbeat dad.” More importantly, however, he has since learned his fate after his heinous actions led to the innocent little girl losing her life.

Imhotep Norman
Imhotep Norman as he faced the judge. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Imhotep Norman of Spartanburg, South Carolina, has rightfully been dubbed a deadbeat drug dealer dad after leaving his toddler daughter to die in a burning car. Officers reportedly tried to stop Norman for speeding, but rather than comply, he decided to try to flee, the Daily Mail reported. A police chase ensued, and at some point, Norman’s car caught fire while his daughter Xena was still inside.

By the time Norman pulled over on that fateful Friday, his car was engulfed by flames. That’s when the 28-year-old suspect decided to try to flee from cops on foot, leaving 19-month-old Xena Norman behind in the burning vehicle. Sadly, the deadbeat dad’s decision would prove fatal for the little girl, who died of thermal burns and acute carbon monoxide poisoning after being left in the vehicle by her dad.

Imhotep Norman
Imhotep Norman fled the police and the burning car while his one-year-old daughter remained inside. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

After flames and sparks were filmed flying out of the car by the police dashcam and Imhotep Norman fled the South Carolina police on foot, firefighters managed to extinguish the fire. That’s when the body of one-year-old Xena Norman was found in the back seat. Although Imhotep Norman managed to flee into the woods, he was arrested hours later and argued his innocence in the girl’s tragic death.

“I just know that the car wasn’t on fire when I got out [of] the car. I would have stayed in that car with my daughter,” Norman told a judge during a bond hearing. “I would have never got out the car while the car was on fire. I seen [sic] sparks coming from under the tires when I tried to stop and I couldn’t stop at that point. I don’t know why, what happened to the car, where I couldn’t stop.”

However, as Norman denied knowing the car was on fire, he contradicted himself by also alleging that he thought the pursuing officers would rescue his daughter when he fled the car and ran into the woods. Not only were his own claims conflicting, but the dashcam video also contradicted the suspect’s claims as footage showed the extent of the blaze.

Indeed, the entire car chase, flames and all, was captured by the dashcam video which showed Norman driving over the median of Highway 14 and onto Interstate 85, where troopers forced him into the right lane. According to authorities, a bag was thrown from the moving car as the pursuit was coming to a close. The bag was later recovered and tested positive for illegal narcotics.

Xena Norman (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Although it’s unclear what triggered the blaze, what was clear from the video footage was that Norman kept driving instead of stopping to seek help before finally abandoning Xena, leaving her to perish in the flames while he saved himself. As flames could be seen billowing from the car as it pulled over, Norman jumped from the burning vehicle. As he ran away, a trooper saw him toss a backpack that held illegal drugs.

With the evidence stacked against him, Norman pleaded guilty to homicide by child abuse, failure to stop for blue lights and sirens, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, trafficking methamphetamine and possession with the intent to distribute amphetamine, possession of oxycodone, and possession of Xanax, according to the office of 7th Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette.

For his crimes, Imhotep Norman was sentenced to 28 years in prison. He will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he’s eligible for release, the solicitor’s office said. Considering the fact that his actions robbed Xena of her entire life, less than three decades in jail — when she likely had 7 decades or more of life left to live — seems rather paltry.

However, the deadbeat dad did provide an important lesson about drug dealers. Namely, they don’t love anyone or anything as much as themselves, their drugs, and avoiding the consequences of their addiction. At a minimum, Norman’s drug involvement and saving himself were at the forefront of his mind when his daughter was not.

Imhotep Norman
Imhotep Norman (Photo Credit: Spartanburg County Detention Center)

“He loved her so much,” Norman’s mother said through tears, defending her son as she spoke on his behalf at a bond hearing. Sadly, as we’ve seen, he didn’t love her enough to simply accept accountability for the crimes that he had already committed. Instead, he tried to dodge his consequences, even if it meant leaving his young daughter behind to face the ramifications of his actions as he ran from them.

Remember Xena Norman’s tragic death the next time someone says drug abuse is a victimless crime. It most certainly is not, and it’s often the innocent who become caught in the crosshairs created by the addict. Xena would be alive if her father had just pulled over and accepted the punishment he had coming to him as a drug dealer, but instead, he sacrificed an innocent child in an attempt to save himself. Sadly, that’s what addicts do, so don’t let anyone tell you any different.