The python had not been fed for a month when it squeezed two-year-old Shaianna Hare to death and began to eat her.
The little girl was found dead in her cot by her mum's boyfriend in 2009. The 8ft 6in snake - named Gypsy - was coiled tightly around her.
Boyfriend Charles Darnell, 34, stabbed the snake to death before sobbing to the emergency services: 'The baby's dead. Our stupid snake got out and strangled the baby.'
Relatives had already expressed concerns that Shaianna's mum, Jaren Hare, 21, could not afford to keep the snake - the court heard its last meal had been a dead squirrel they found in a road.
Jaren Hare and Charles Darnell, of Oxford, Florida, are both charged with third-degree murder, child manslaughter and child neglect.
More:Advice And Health
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more