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Old 07-27-2019, 09:14 AM
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Default Hispanic Dad Juan Rodriguez charged in death of twin babies he left in hot car

https://nypost.com/2019/07/27/dad-of...icide-charges/

Dad charged in death of twin babies he left in hot car
By Kenneth Garger, Daniel Cassady and Kathianne Boniello
July 27, 2019 | 1:10am | Updated July 27, 2019 | 11:59am



The Rockland County dad who left his 1-year-old twins in the back of his car in The Bronx for hours, killing them, is awaiting arraignment on manslaughter charges early Saturday.

Neighbors and a friend defended the father of five, Juan Rodriguez, 39, as a good dad.

The US veteran is “an amazing guy. He’s always been there for his kids. Always. This is just a horrible situation. The family isn’t doing so well,” buddy Temple Barrows, 41, said Saturday morning outside Juan Rodriguez’ New City home.

The twins, whom another family friend identified as Luna and Phoenix, just celebrated their first birthday.


Juan Rodriguez
Seth Gottfried


Rodriguez also faces two counts each of criminally negligent homicide for leaving his infant twins in the back seat of his Honda Accord while he was inside James J. Peters VA Hospital in Kingsbridge, where he works as a social worker.

The father of five told cops he parked at his job at 8 a.m. and only realized he left his kids behind once he drove off after work at about 4 p.m., police said.

A passerby called police after witnessing Rodriguez screaming on the side of the road at Kingsbridge Terrace and Kingsbridge Road, police said.

The babies weren’t breathing and were foaming at the mouth when EMS arrived. They were pronounced dead on scene.

“This was just a horrible mistake. That one time you make a mistake and you have to live with it for the rest of your life,” said neighbor Tony Caterino, 45.

“It’s just horrible. They were a great family. Always doing things with the kids, always in the yard playing. They had a big camp out last weekend with tents in the back yard. He would always play catch or basketball with his older kids.”

Paul Bartlett, 39, called Rodriguez and his family “good, hardworking people. I have nothing bad to say about them. It’s just shocking to hear. I can’t wrap my head around it. No one here can believe it.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Dad charged in death of twin babies he left in hot car

https://nypost.com/2019/09/24/dad-wh...ake-plea-deal/

Dad who left twin babies to die in hot car won’t take plea deal
By Aaron Feis and Georgett Roberts
September 24, 2019 | 3:12pm | Updated


Juan Rodriguez (left) appears in court. Richard Harbus


The Rockland County father whose year-old twins died after he forgot them in his sweltering car has no interest in cutting a plea deal because it would be a concession of guilt, his lawyer said Tuesday.

“I do not view this as a criminal case,” attorney Joey Jackson said outside Bronx *Criminal Court, where he appeared alongside client Juan *Rodriguez.

“A plea deal would otherwise suggest that there was some culpability or guilt on Mr. Rodriguez’s part.

“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.”

Rodriguez, a 39-year-old Iraq War veteran, is facing two counts each of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for leaving son Phoenix and daughter Luna inside his parked Honda Accord as it baked in the July sun for eight hours.

“I killed my babies!” Rodriguez shrieked to cops upon realizing he’d forgotten to drop his tots off at day care before working a shift at a Bronx Veterans Affairs hospital, police sources have said.

At a brief court hearing Tuesday, prosecutors said they still have not convened a grand jury to hear the case.

Afterwards, Jackson had a roughly hour-long meeting with the prosecutors — before telling reporters his client would not take a deal.

“The delay here is that prosecutors are taking their time to evaluate every piece of evidence,” Jackson said. “They want additional information to do their due diligence.”

Rodriguez was joined at his court date and the briefing by his wife, Marissa. Though neither spoke publicly Tuesday, Marissa has previously said she is standing by her husband and called the shared loss her “absolute worst nightmare.”

“I will never get over this loss, and I know he will never forgive himself for this mistake,” Marissa Rodriguez said in a statement days after the the deaths of the twins.

Jackson echoed the sentiment on Tuesday, saying each hearing of the protracted legal proceeding is a reminder to Rodriguez of his life-changing mistake, even as he acknowledged that the district attorney is simply being thorough.

“It’s horrible for him to be returning to court,” Jackson said. “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.”

Rodriguez, free on $100,000 bail, is due back in court on Oct. 24.
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