New City dad returns to court in twins' hot-car deaths

Posted: Updated:

The Rockland County father accused of leaving his 1-year-old twins to die in a hot car was in Bronx Criminal Court Tuesday morning.

Juan Rodriguez, of New City, was arrested in July after police say he left his children in the car while he went to work in the Bronx.

The 39-year-old says he dropped his 4-year-old son at a Westchester day care, but forgot the twins were in rear-facing car seats. Rodriguez went to work for eight hours, and it wasn't until he began to drive home when he says he realized the twins, Phoenix and Luna, were still in their seats, but it was too late.

The two were pronounced dead in the car.

Rodriguez had faced two counts of manslaughter and two counts of negligent homicide in the death of the babies, but earlier this month, the district attorney put the case on hold. At the time, the DA had decided not to put the case before a grand jury just yet, citing the need for further investigation. 

This means the criminal case against Rodriguez is still active, but the prosecution is paused.

Tuesday’s appearance was his second hearing that resulted in no grand jury action

Rodriguez is out on $100,000 bond. He is due back in court on Sept. 2.

 

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