Father pleads not guilty in twin infants' car deaths

On Saturday, Juan Rodriguez pleaded not guilty in the deaths of his one-year-old twins who died after he left them in a hot car for eight hours the day before.

Rodriguez was charged with two counts each of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. He reportedly told police that he thought he had dropped them off at daycare before going to work.

Police say the father, Juan Rodriguez, parked his car on Friday morning and went to work at a hospital in the Bronx where he was employed as a social worker.

He returned eight hours later after working his shift and realised the twins had been in the backseat all day. Police say the frantic father called emergency services but his one-year-old daughter Mariza and her twin brother Phoenix were already dead.

Temperatures were over 30C/85F degrees in New York City on Friday. The medical examiner's office is determining the cause of death, which is believed to be heat exhaustion.

Rodriguez faces up to four years in prison for the criminal negligent homicide charge and up to 15 years for the manslaughter charge. His attorney Joey Jackson said his client was "inconsolable" and he was concerned about his health.

Rodriguez was bailed and his next court appearance is scheduled for August 1st.

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