A war hero father that accidentally left his twins to die in a hot car has avoided jail time in the United States of America.
39-year-old Juan Rodrigues, who is from New York, USA, pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless endangerment charges and was sentenced to a 1-year conditional discharge.
Rodrigues, a social worker by that time, drove to his job at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center on July 26, 2019.
Luna and Phoenix, the twins, were left unattended in the back seat of the vehicle for around 8 hours.
Their body temperatures reportedly went more than 42 degrees Celsius.
Temperatures outside the vehicle reached around 37.7 degrees Celsius, said official reports.
Talking about how the incident happened, Juan told the police:
I assumed I dropped them off at daycare before I went to work. I blanked out. My babies are dead. I killed my babies.
Initially, Rodrigues, who is an Iraq War veteran initially faced 2 counts each of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
Prosecutors dropped the charges because the father of the twins was willing to cooperate with the authorities in the investigation.
Joey Jackson, the lawyer of the father, said:
Mr. Rodriguez and his family continue to heal and work toward the day where all children can be made safer in hot cars. We appreciate that District Attorney (Darcel) Clark and her staff were committed to reaching a just and appropriate resolution in this case.
Marissa, the wife of Rodriguez, also indicated her support for her husband during his first court appearance, which happened last year.
Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband. He is a good person and great father and I know he would’ve never done anything to hurt our children intentionally. Caravan parks and campsites could look different in 8 ways after coronavirus I will never get over this loss and I know he will never forgive himself for this mistake.
Marissa and Rodriguez have 3 other kids, who are now working on a foundation to raise awareness about hot car deaths.
They are doing the charitable act to prevent future tragedies.
Talking about the incident, the DA Clark said:
This was a tragic, unfortunate incident. I hope that as the sweltering weather is upon us, caregivers will be extra vigilant about children in vehicles.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the twins.