A dad whose twins died after he accidentally left them in a hot car as he went to work has avoided jail.
Juan Rodriguez, 39, from New York in the US, pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless endangerment charges and was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge.
The social worker drove to his job at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center on July 26, 2019.
Luna and Phoenix Rodriguez were left unattended in the back seat for around eight hours, reaching body temperatures of more than 42C.
Temperatures outside the vehicle reached 37.7C.
Juan got back in the car and told police: “I assumed I dropped them off at daycare before I went to work. I blanked out. My babies are dead. I killed my babies.”
The Iraq War veteran initially faced two counts each of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
But prosecutors dropped the charges because of Juan’s willingness to co-operate.
Following the verdict, Juan’s lawyer Joey Jackson said: “Mr Rodriguez and his family continue to heal and work toward the day where all children can be made safer in hot cars.
“We appreciate that District Attorney (Darcel) Clark and her staff were committed to reaching a just and appropriate resolution in this case.”
Rodriguez’s wife Marissa also indicated her support for her husband at his first court appearance last July.
She said: “Though I am hurting more than I ever imagined possible, I still love my husband.
“He is a good person and great father and I know he would’ve never done anything to hurt our children intentionally.
“I will never get over this loss and I know he will never forgive himself for this mistake.”
The pair, who have three other kids, are now working on a foundation to raise awareness about hot car deaths in a bid to prevent future tragedies.
DA Clark added: “This was a tragic, unfortunate incident. I hope that as the sweltering weather is upon us, caregivers will be extra vigilant about children in vehicles.”