A Bronx dad charged in the deaths of his 1-year-old twins who died after being left in a hot car for eight hours will not face a grand jury ― for now.
The Bronx district attorney said Thursday the case against Juan Rodriguez, would not yet go to a grand jury, which could signal a change in the charges he faces for manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
“We’re back on August 27,” Joey Jackson, the family’s attorney, told PIX 11. “The purpose of that proceeding will again be to determine if a grand jury has been convened to indict Mr. Rodriguez. We are hopeful that will not be the case.”
Rodriguez, 39, openly wept in court as he pleaded not guilty to the charges on Saturday. The father, a licensed clinical social worker and Iraq War veteran with three other children, told police he forgot his kids were in the back seat when he went to complete an eight-hour shift at James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx on Friday.
The infants’ body temperatures measured 108 degrees, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
“I assumed I dropped them off at daycare before I went to work,” Rodriguez told police officers who arrived on the scene, according to court documents obtained by ABC News. “I blanked out. My babies are dead; I killed my babies.”
Jackson said his team hoped to explain to the Bronx district attorney that the deaths were a horrible accident. Rodriguez’s wife, Marissa, came to her husband’s defense.
“Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband,” Marissa Rodriguez told news outlets in a statement. “He is a good person and great father and I know he would’ve never done anything to hurt our children intentionally.”
Family and friends were seen outside court Saturday to console and offer encouragement for the grieving father, and neighbors told local news stations that Rodriguez is a good dad. He remains out on bail.