MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A suburban New York father is being held on homicide charges after his infant son died inside a sweltering car where temperatures hit an estimated 119 degrees, police and prosecutors said Wednesday.
Devon A. Fenner, 25, of Hempstead, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment to a charge of criminally negligent homicide. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted. A judge set bond at $50,000 for Fenner, who has an arrest record for marijuana possession and other crimes.
Fenner's attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.
Inspector Kenneth Lack, a Nassau County police spokesman, said Fenner called 911 at about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday, telling authorities that he had accidentally left his 7-month-old son, Derrick Fenner, in a car seat inside his 2003 Toyota Corolla.
Fenner told authorities the child had been in the car about 30 minutes before he was rescued. EMTs tried to perform CPR, but the child died about 40 minutes later at a nearby hospital, police said.
Lack said investigators found that all the windows were shut except for a small crack in the driver's-side window.
"Unfortunately, cracking a window on a 90-degree day doesn't do much," Lack said. Temperatures on Long Island on Tuesday were in the middle to high 80s.
Fenner lives with the baby's mother, their 7-year-old son and her 4-year-old daughter. He said Child Protective Services authorities would conduct a separate investigation, but for the moment the children were being cared for by their mother. Fenner also has an 8-year-old son who lives elsewhere, police said.
His arrest record, which dates to 2004, includes guilty pleas for criminal trespass, marijuana possession and harassment, according to the district attorney's office. He also has a pending case on a charge of unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, authorities said.
Police expect additional charges when the case is presented to a grand jury.
He is due back in court on Aug. 28.