Rockland father faces manslaughter charges in death of his 1-year-old twins

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The Rockland County father charged in the death of his 1-year-old twins went back to court for a third time in connection to the hot car tragedy.

 Juan Rodriguez, 39, of New City is facing charges of second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child.

In July, police say Rodriguez left his 1-year-old twins, Luna and Phoenix, strapped in their rear facing car seats for eight hours while he was at work.

Rodriguez claims he dropped his 4-year-old son off at one day care center that day and thought he'd dropped the twins off at their Yonkers day care.

Temperatures outside climbed into the high 80s that day.

Rodriguez didn't realize the babies were still in the car until he was driving home from his job at the VA hospital in the Bronx. By then, the twins were dead.

Friends, family, and even Rodriguez's wife have stood by the Iraq War veteran saying he would have never intentionally hurt his children.

He has cooperated with investigators and claims he simply blacked out that day.

The last time Juan Rodriguez appeared in court was last month, at which point the case had not gone before a grand jury, which would decide whether or not to issue an indictment.

Defense attorneys are urging prosecutors to drop the case.

Joey Jackson, the lawyer representing Rodriguez maintains the deaths were an accident.  He says that since April, 43 children nationwide have died in hot cars, according to the Kids and Car website.

Jackson says he has waived his client right to a speedy trial and that he or Rodriguez will be accepting a plea deal.

Rodriguez is due back in court on Oct. 24.

 

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