The father of infant twins who died after he accidentally left them in a hot car will not yet face a grand jury in connection with the children’s’ deaths.
Juan Rodriguez appeared at a Bronx courthouse on Thursday morning for a hearing to determine if a grand jury had proceeded on charges of criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter.
The Bronx District Attorney has decided not to put the case before a grand jury as an investigation remains ongoing. The next court date is scheduled for August 27,
Juan and Marissa Rodriguez, (pictured), sobbed as they clutched their son outside Bronx Supreme Court where a judge determined that Juan will not face a grand jury on charges relating to the death of the couple’s one-year-old twins
Rodriguez reportedly forgot to drop his twins, Luna and son Phoenix, off at daycare on the morning of July 26, leaving them to swelter in the back of his Honda Accord for eight hours
‘We’re back on August 27,’ said Joey Jackson, the family’s attorney. ‘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.’
The social worker and Iraq War veteran was charged with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of criminally negligent homicide over the deaths of his daughter Luna and son Phoenix.
He has entered not guilty pleas on all counts. Rodriguez allegedly told police he forgot Luna and Phoenix Rodriguez were in the backseat on July 26.
He then went to work for the day and found them eight hours later at the intersection of Kingsbridge Terrace and Kingsbridge Road in the Kingsbridge neighborhood.
Rodriquez, 39, sobbed on Thursday as he stood outside court with his wife Marissa and his older son, with his lawyer speaking on his behalf.
He said: ‘We’re appealing to our sense of justice to do what we believe is the right thing and that is to dismiss these charges.
‘We understand that they will continue to evaluate all aspects of the case and we welcome their evaluation of that.
‘We believe that at the conclusion of them evaluating all the facts, all the evidence and everything in this case, they will come to the conclusion that this was a horrible tragedy.’
Rodriguez cried throughout the hearing and shook his head in despair numerous times when the twins’ names were mentioned.
He claimed Rodriquez and his family will be dedicating their life to the cause of ensuring that this doesn’t happen again.’
He added: ‘I yesterday had the privilege of speaking to the Speaker of the New York State Assembly about legislation that could and would be designed to ensure that car manufacturers outlet cars with mechanisms so as to alert parents, alert anyone in the car that there would be children that would be there so that this doesn’t happen again.’
Jackson claimed that these incidents have happened across the country, claiming there had been a record high of 52 similar deaths last year.
He said Rodriguez and his family will work with legislators when ‘they gain the strength to do so’ to ensure that others are protected.