Connecticut man pleads guilty after son dies in hot car

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 10, 2015 3:42 PM

By Richard Weizel

DANBURY, Connecticut (Reuters) - A Connecticut man whose 15-month-old son died last summer after the man forgot the toddler in the back seat of his car pleaded guilty on Tuesday to criminally negligent homicide in Superior Court in Danbury.

Kyle Seitz, 37, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, pleaded guilty under the Alford doctrine, allowing him to avoid admitting guilt, while acknowledging he would likely be found guilty at trial due to the evidence against him.

Seitz was charged last November and initially pleaded not guilty after a four-month investigation into the death of his son, Benjamin, who died on July 7 after being left unattended in Seitz's Jeep while Seitz went to work.

The cause of the boy's death was "hyperthermia due to environmental exposure," the chief state medical examiner's office said, ruling the death a homicide in August.

Seitz faces up to a year in jail when he is sentenced on April 9. He has said he forgot the toddler was in the car when he got to work. The boy spent the full workday locked in the car when outside temperatures climbed to nearly 88 degrees.

The case was among a series of similar instances last summer in which children died after being left in cars by their parents on hot summer days. More than 30 children died of heat stroke in the United States last year after being left in hot cars, according to San Jose State University.

Attorney John Gulash, representing Seitz, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

(Editing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Peter Galloway)