A suspended Arkansas judge on Friday pleaded not guilty to a negligent homicide charge filed after his son was found dead in a hot car last summer.

Circuit Judge Wade Naramore is accused in the death of his 18-month-old, Thomas, last July. His trial is set for June 14.

Arrest records say Naramore told investigators he forgot to drop his son off at day care and left him in the back seat of a hot car for about five hours. The child died at the scene.

If convicted, Naramore could be jailed for a year and fined $2,500. The state Supreme Court has suspended Naramore with pay, pending the outcome of the case.

Naramore's lawyers have said the incident was "a tragedy but not a crime."

A special prosecutor and special judge are handling the case after local officials recused, citing their work with him in the Garland County Circuit Court.

The Hot Springs Sentinel Record reported before the hearing Friday that as of Wednesday the state had paid $21,907.07 for other judges to handle Naramore's workload, which involves juvenile cases, domestic relations and probate.

Circuit judges make $160,000 annually under a state pay scale approved last year.

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