Lower Hudson Valley Father Won’t Take Plea Deal in Twins’ Deaths
The Hudson Valley father who left his young twins in a hot car to die returned to court on Tuesday.
In July, Juan Rodriguez, 39, of Rockland County was charged with two counts each of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
According to prosecutors, the Iraq War veteran told police he thought he dropped off his 1-year-old twins at daycare before heading to work at a hospital in the Bronx. Rodriguez did drop off an older child at another daycare that morning but then discovered his twins in the backseat of his car after working his shift.
After working an 8-hour shift, Rodriguez found Luna and Phoenix Rodriguez unconscious and foaming from the mouth in the back of the car. Rodriguez immediately called 911 but the babies were pronounced dead at the scene.
In August, the Bronx District Attorney decided to not put the case against Rodriguez before a grand jury, pending a further investigation.
The New City man returned to court on Tuesday. Prosecutors announced they still haven't put the case towards a grand jury as prosecutors continue to investigate. Rodriguez is due back in court on Oct. 24.
Speaking outside a Bronx courtroom, Rodriguez's lawyer said his client won't take a plea deal.
“I do not view this as a criminal case,” Joey Jackson said, according to the New York Post. “A plea deal would otherwise suggest that there was some culpability or guilt on Mr. Rodriguez’s part. It’s my view that, while this is a horrific tragedy that has affected my client, his wife, his children deeply, that it is not a crime.”
According to a GoFundme setup for Rodrigues and his family, the tragedy is due to "Forgotten Baby Syndrome," where parents accidentally forget about a child and leave them in their vehicle while performing daily tasks and routines.
- Nazi Flag Displayed Near Hudson Valley School, Church
- 5 Dead From Tainted Drugs Sold in New York, Police Warn
- Rabid Kitten Bites Hudson Valley Resident
- Hudson Valley Man Killed By Metro-North Train, Police Say
- Lower Hudson Valley Father Won't Take Plea Deal in Twins' Deaths
- 1 Dead 1 With Life-threatening injuries After Crash in Dutchess County
- Hudson Valley Woman Wins $1 Million Drawing
- Hudson Valley Woman Fatally Shot, Shooter Still On the Run
- Hudson Valley Man, 'World’s Oldest-Working Barber' Dies