Pangalangan/King Murder Trial Starts


By: Scott Grooms

Rita Pangalangan, and her boyfriend, Larry E. King Jr., are both charged with murder with malice and aforethought for the for the murder of 13-year-old Cristina Pangalangan.

Pangalangan and King are being tried separately with Pangalangan’s trial scheduled first. Jury selection for her trial began on Monday morning and continued into the afternoon with opening arguments beginning on Tuesday.

Emergency personnel were called to King’s home shortly before 5 p.m. August 5, 2019, after receiving a 9-1-1 call about a child not breathing.

King and Pangalangan left Cristina alone outside in a vehicle for five hours after arriving at King’s house, checking on her only three times in that span.

Paramedics who arrived at the scene attempted to revive her, but say Cristina was already “beyond help,” Colleton County Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy said.

Paramedics pronounced Cristina dead at the scene.

Research by vehicle safety organizations has shown temperatures inside vehicles during hot weather can rise between 40- and 45-degrees Fahrenheit above the ambient temperature after only an hour.

Nearby weather gauges recorded temperature readings of 88- and 91-degrees Monday afternoon around the time of the girl’s death. The temperature inside a vehicle without air conditioning could have reached 130-135- degrees under those circumstances.

Deputies say the child’s disability meant she was incapable of caring for herself while inside the vehicle.

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