ALIQUIPPA (KDKA/AP) – A judge has dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges against a Pennsylvania man whose two toddler daughters died when a dresser crashed down onto them.
Twenty-eight-year-old David Beatty Jr. and his wife, Jennifer, must still stand trial on child endangerment charges.
Police say they discovered deplorable conditions inside the home when they investigated the July 4 deaths of 2-year-old Brooklyn and 3-year-old Ryeley.
Beatty was in the bathroom when the dresser fell down on the girls, and he remained there for about 10 minutes afterward.
“There really wasn’t anything that could be done,” says Beatty’s defense attorney Kevin Kindred. “It was a tragic accident and the Beatty family is still trying to get over this tragedy.”
Kindred has argued that all along as Beatty and his wife Jennifer faced charges of child endangerment after a dresser fell on their two children in their Aliquippa home.
Their daughter Brooklyn, age 2, died first.
Their daughter Ryelye, age 3 died later.
“The argument is that there was nothing that Mr. Beatty did to directly cause the death of these children,” says Kindred. “This is a tragic accident, a dresser fell over on them. The commonwealths own doctor had ruled that these children would have died within 30 seconds of this dresser falling over so that it is not unreasonable for a parent to leave a child alone for a thirty second period,” he said.
The couple still faces the child endangerment charges and unless the prosecution appeals this ruling their trial is scheduled for March.
Prosecutors may appeal Wednesday’s ruling.
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