A father whose two toddler daughters were crushed by a dresser that fell on them has been charged with manslaughter because, after hearing a crash, he waited 15 minutes to check on them, reports Daily Mail.
David Beatty, 28, of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, has been charged with the deaths of Brooklyn, 2, and Ryeley, 3, after both girls died as a result of being crushed by a dresser on July 4, according to police. Brooklyn died shortly after the dresser fell on her, while Ryeley passed away two days later in a hospital.
The father was home alone with his daughters at the time and didn’t respond when he heard the furniture crashing to the ground, but rather waited 15 minutes to look in on them.
“If the children’s caregiver, namely David Beatty, the defendant, would have reacted immediately to the sound of the bang, both children would have survived this incident without significant injury,” a forensic pathologist reportedly told police.
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According to an autopsy report, the girls – who each weighed about 30 pounds – died because the weight of the 124-pound dresser prevented them from breathing.
When police searched Beatty and his wife, Jennifer’s, home, they allegedly made other concerning discoveries. Their floors were reportedly covered with dirty clothes and diapers and their floors, walls and beds contained “human and animal waste.” As a result of these findings, the toddlers’ mother has been charged with endangering the welfare of children.
The couple’s attorney, Dale Fouse, argues that the condition of their home has nothing to do with the death of their children, reports ABC News. When questioned about why Beatty didn’t immediately respond to the crashing sound, Fouse said, “The sound was described as a bang. As you may or may not know, children make sounds inside of a house. We can’t possibly foresee all of these circumstances. This looks to be just a tragic accident and it doesn’t rise to the level of criminal culpability.”
But police say Beatty’s version of what happened that day changed more than a few times, which made them highly suspicious of him. First, they say he told them that he let the toddlers play alone in the room while he filled up their bath and that he responded within seconds of hearing the noise. Next, they say, he claimed he had been using the toilet and waited 10 to 15 minutes to see what had happened.
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The husband and wife have been released on unsecured bond and will appear at a preliminary hearing on July 31.
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