A Virginia man is facing multiple charges after a 2-year-old died after being left in a hot car, the New York Daily News reports.
Daiquan Fields, 32, is facing charges of felony child neglect and involuntary manslaughter after he left his girlfriend’s toddler strapped into a car seat Wednesday while temperatures went as high as 70 degrees. The child, who suffered second-degree burns where her skin touched the seat and was running a temperature of 107 degrees, was rushed to the hospital but did not make it.
According to the news site, Fields was accustomed to dropping the child off at a baby sitter’s while taking her two older siblings, ages 10 and 15, to school. However, on Wednesday he was running late, so he dropped off the two older kids before returning to the family’s home, leaving the child in the car.
Fields reportedly sat at home all day drinking beer and watching TV while the toddler was in the car for about seven hours. Fields eventually left the home in the afternoon to pick up his girlfriend from her job but only noticed the toddler in the backseat when he pulled up outside the mall, he told investigators.
The girl was reportedly blue, with fluid dripping from her nose. Fields called 911, but the child died en route to the hospital.
Police executed a search warrant in the family’s home, where they found marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Fields is reportedly a six-time felon who has repeatedly been caught driving with a suspended license. The judge presiding over the case stated that the child would still be alive if Fields had followed the law and not driven.
His defense attorney, Dontae Bugg, countered by saying that his traffic record had “no bearing on this case.”
“We can all agree this was a tragedy; we may not all agree this was an accident,” the judge said.
Fields is currently free on $50,000 bond and is forbidden to drive. He will also have to take twice-weekly drug tests as a condition of his release.
Read more at the New York Daily News.