Bronx father appears in court in twins' hot car deaths, DA asks for adjournment

KINGSBRIDGE, Bronx (WABC) -- A father whose twins died after being left in a sweltering car made a court appearance Tuesday, with the Bronx District Attorney's Office asking for another adjournment as it continues to investigate the case.

Juan Rodriguez, 39, is facing several charges, including manslaughter.

Police say he left his 1-year-old twins inside his car for eight hours in late July, telling investigators he forgot to drop the babies off at daycare when he went to work.

Rodriguez previously appeared in court August 1 for a hearing to determine whether or not a grand jury had proceeded on charges of criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter.

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Juan Rodriguez faces charges in the deaths of his twins left in a hot car



The Bronx DA decided not to put it before a grand jury at that time, pending further investigation. This meant that prosecutors were effectively pausing the prosecution, but the criminal case is still active.

That same thing happened Tuesday, and the defense did not object to the adjournment before holding a news conference maintaining Rodriguez's innocence.

Rodriguez, from New City in Rockland County, admitted to police that he left his twin babies in the car for hours on July 26.

He told police he dropped off his 4-year-old son Tristan at a Westchester daycare but forgot that his 1-year-old twins, Luna and Phoenix, were in their rear-facing car seats

Rodriguez told police he then drove to work at the VA Medical Center in the Bronx around 8 a.m. and parked his car with the twins inside.

He said he returned to his car eight hours later and started to drive away, according to police. He drove for two blocks before discovering the children, foaming at the mouth and lifeless.

Police said he pulled over and screamed for help. Rodriguez was charged the next day.

Rodriguez is a licensed clinical social worker and an Army veteran who served in Iraq.

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