Connecticut man spared prison time in death of toddler son in hot car

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Lauren Glassberg has the story. (WABC)

A Connecticut man whose young son died after he left him inside a car on a hot day last summer has been spared prison time.

Kyle Seitz of Ridgefield received a conditional discharge at his sentencing Thursday in Danbury Superior Court.

Authorities say Seitz forgot to take his 15-month-old son, Benjamin, to day care on July 7 and left him in the car for seven hours while he went to work. Temperatures that day hit the upper 80s.

At the end of the day he found the boy and raced him to the hospital, but it was too late. Benjamin died of hyperthermia.

Seitz entered an Alford plea, in which he didn't admit guilt but agreed that there was enough evidence to convict him of criminally negligent homicide.

Seitz, who has two other children, has been free on bail.

The judge found there was no reason to send Seitz to prison in a case that even the prosecution calls tragic.

He faced a year in prison, but his wife and members of the community came to his side. His wife's attorney appealed for leniency Thursday.

"I'm asking that you release him to his family so that we can finally be at peace, and we can grieve and heal together as a family," said Peter Buzaid.

The family has since moved from Ridgefield to Colorado with their two daughters.

"The tragedy certainly continues. They have their whole lives of attempting to recover which you can't recover from, but certainly to have this case done is the beginning of another part of his life," said attorney John Gulash.

And Seitz's wife started a website in her son's memory to raise awareness about the dangers of leaving a child alone in a car.

"I think that everyone can learn from how these people have dealt with the tragedy, and will continue to deal with it for the rest of their lives," said Gulash.

(Some information from the Associated Press.)
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child deathconnecticut newssentencingDanbury
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