A New York father whose 1-year-old twins died in his hot car while he worked an eight-hour shift pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment Tuesday and will avoid prison, according to reports.
Juan Rodriguez pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment; his freedom would be voided if he is arrested within the next year.
"For the rest of his life, he will be scarred by what happened here," defense attorney Joey Jackson said. "He will feel really badly by what has occurred here. So I don't think today is any vindication for him."
"The defendant, Juan Rodriguez, left his 1-year-old twins in the backseat of his car for hours while he went to work," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark added. "The children were strapped in their car seats throughout the hot summer day, with no windows open. These babies suffered horribly, and we owed them a thorough investigation. 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."
The father, who last year pleaded not guilty to two counts each of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child, told the officers he thought he had dropped the twins off at day care before he went to his job at a Bronx hospital last July, where temperatures in the Bronx reached the mid-80s.
Investigators believe Rodriguez parked a silver Honda Accord with the twins, Phoenix and Luna, in carseats in the back. It appeared that he drove off after finishing work before realizing the children were in the car and frantically summoning help, police said.
The boy and girl were pronounced dead at the scene.