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Still no charges against dad in tragic Bronx deaths of twins inside overheated car as defense lawyer urges DA to show mercy


Juan Rodriguez, the father whose 1-year-old twins died after he left them in the back seat of a hot car, leaves Bronx Criminal Court Aug. 27, 2019 after a briefing hearing. Mr. Rodriguez was joined by his wife Marissa and three unidentified children. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/for New York Daily News)

The father who mistakenly left his 1-year-old twins to die inside a sweltering parked car kissed his supportive wife Tuesday as his lawyer again urged prosecutors to spare the man from criminal charges.

Defendant Juan Rodriguez stood mutely with his spouse as defense attorney Joey Jackson announced his client’s family was starting a foundation to raise awareness of overheated car deaths in memory of twins Luna and Phoenix, found dead inside their father’s 108-degree Honda on July 26.

“At no time did Mr. Rodriguez have any intention to harm his beautiful babies,” said Jackson after a brief Brooklyn court appearance. "No one should ever be put in this situation. And if you understand the science, people will understand how you can be put in this situation.

“It’s very traumatic, and it’s very serious. It’s very compelling.”

Rodriguez and his spouse Marissa are also backing state legislation requiring auto manufacturers to install detectors that would alert drivers to the presence of kids in the back seat of their vehicles. Tears welled in the mother’s eyes as she held the couple’s 4-year-old son Tristan.

Rodriguez, 39, told cops that he “blanked out” after parking his car outside a Bronx medical facility to start his 8 a.m. shift. The two helpless kids, strapped into their car seats, spent the next eight blistering hours inside the car as the temperature in the vehicle soared.

“My babies are dead!” Rodriguez told cops when the horrific deaths became clear. The dad assumed he had dropped the twins off at day care before heading into work.

The National Safety Council reported 52 child deaths inside overheated cars in 2018.

Rodriguez, as he has since the deaths, received the support of his wife and other family members. He stood grimly as Jackson discussed his client’s fate, with all due back in court on Sept. 24.

Assistant District Attorney Jaime Breslin said the investigation into the case was continuing.