MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami-Dade judge has dismissed a manslaughter charge against a father whose daughter died after he left her in a sweltering car for hours.
In September 2012, Lazaro Ramos told investigators it wasn’t part of his usual routine to take his six-month old daughter Rosalyn when he dropped off his son at Doral Academy Elementary on his way to work.
Around 5 p.m. he returned to the school to pick up his son. When the boy got into the back seat, that’s when they both discovered the infant unresponsive in her car seat.
The infant was taken to Miami Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
In her ruling, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cristina Miranda wrote that while Ramos was negligent, his conduct was not “reckless, gross or flagrant” enough to warrant a criminal charge. Her ruling, which will be appealed by prosecutors, sets up a legal showdown over the criminality of hot-car deaths that happen far too often in South Florida,” according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
In filing the manslaughter charge, prosecutors claimed that Ramos was reckless because he was distracted by work phone calls on his way to the office. Judge Miranda disagreed, saying that while his conduct was negligent, it was not egregious enough to amount to “culpable negligence,” according to the paper.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.