The New York father of infant twins who died after he forgot they were in his car will not take a plea deal, his lawyer has said.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Juan Rodriguez’s 1-year-old twins died in late July after he drove with them to his job at a VA hospital in the Bronx, forgetting they were still in the car when he parked and went in to work a full day’s shift. He only realized the twins, Phoenix and Luna Rodriguez, were still in the car after he finished his shift and left the parking lot. At that point he pulled over the car and reportedly began screaming, “I killed my babies!”
As the New York Post reports, Rodriguez is facing two counts each of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, though prosecutors have not yet brought his case before a grand jury. Following a hearing Tuesday, Rodriguez’s lawyer told reporters that his client would not accept a plea deal.
“I do not view this as a criminal case … A plea deal would otherwise suggest that there was some culpability or guilt on Mr. Rodriguez’s part,” Jackson reportedly said.
“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.”
While Jackson said he would prefer that prosecutors simply drop the charges, he acknowledged that they were thoroughly examining all of the evidence.
“I would like to have this case dismissed now. I would love if it was dismissed last week, but it’s not. We are living in the reality of the DA dotting i’s and crossing t’s, and anything we can do to facilitate this investigation, we will continue to do,” Jackson said, according to the New York Post.
Rodriguez is an Iraq War veteran, and is currently free on bail. According to the report, his next court date is October 24.
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[Feature image: The Rodriguez family/GoFundMe]