For release on July 28, 2014   CONTACT:
Sumerle Davis, Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2969   DA DECLINES CHARGES AGAINST EXHAUSTED MAN WHO ACCIDENTALLY LEFT CHILD IN CAR   After a careful review, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office will not charge a Los Gatos man who accidentally left his infant son in the rear seat of his car all day. The child died of heat stroke.   The man was extremely fatigued and mistakenly believed that he had dropped off the 9-month-old at a babysitter’s home on his way to work, the D.A. review concluded.   “Like most parents, I know how fatigue can sometimes rob us of common sense and good judgment,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “While we have prosecuted child endangerment cases in the past, this tragedy does not rise to the level of recklessness that both the law and justice require.”   To have criminally charged the father, prosecutors would have needed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed an aggravated, flagrantly negligent or reckless act rather than one resulting from inattention or mistaken judgment. The review concluded this tragedy was not caused by the negligence of a reckless parent but rather was an error by a normally conscientious, exhausted father.   On Wednesday April 16, 2014, the man – tired from only four hours of sleep - began dropping off his three children at 8 a.m. On Wednesdays he usually only brought his two older children to school, but that morning he was planning to drop off the infant at the babysitter’s home because of his wife’s new, early morning job. As his infant son slept in the backseat, the father dropped off his older children. Forgetting the infant was in a car seat in the back, he parked his car on the street at 9:00 a.m. and then set off in his work truck. He finished work at 6:30 p.m. When a co-worker went to go start the car, he discovered the baby in the backseat. The child’s father called 911 and tried to provide CPR until medical personnel arrived. San Jose Fire personnel declared the child dead at 7:24 p.m. The cause of death was hyperthermia (heatstroke.) The father was cooperative with law enforcement’s investigation and was extremely distraught and remorseful.   The report concludes: “After careful consideration of the facts surrounding this incident and the applicable law, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has determined that filing charges against (the father) would not be in the interests of justice.” ###

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