BEAVER (KDKA) — The parents of two young girls who were killed when a dresser fell on top of them while they were playing were in court today for a hearing.
The preliminary hearing lasted nearly four hours. When it was all said and done, all charges were held for court for both parents.
During the hearing, David Beatty, the girls’ father, held his head down in his hands. Jennifer, their mother, cried through most of the testimony.
“Mr. Beatty is devastated. He’s a broken man,” said Kevin Kindred, David’s attorney.
According to their father, 28-year-old David Beatty Jr., the girls had been sitting on the edge of one of the dresser drawers watching television while he prepared a bath for them.
However, what he was doing in the bathroom and how long it took him to respond to what he described as a “loud bang” changed several times.
The lead detective in the case, Sgt. Stephen Roberts, testified that Beatty initially said he reacted within seconds of hearing what he called, “a loud bang.” Then, he told investigators he was on the toilet and reacted within five minutes. And later said that it was 20 to 25 minutes before he checked to see what the noise was.
KDKA’s Brenda Waters: “You tried to drop the involuntary manslaughter charge. How did you argue that?”
Kindred: “There’s no reckless intent. Their doctor said this was an accident. He said that they had 30 seconds to get to these children or they were going to pass away. And there was no definite way of proving recovery.”
Thirteen slides were also shown in court, showing how filthy the Beatty home appeared to be the day of the accident. It showed trash throughout the house, human and animal feces on the floor, walls and baby crib.
The mother of the children was not at home the day of the accident, but faces a charge of endangering the welfare of a child because of the condition of the house.
“Quite frankly, it was a mess without question, but how that relates to a criminal charge, I just can’t figure out and we’re going to continue to defend vigorously against that allegation,” said Dale Fouse, Jennifer’s attorney.
A forensic pathologist testified that had David reacted within 30 to 90 seconds both girls would have survived.
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