The hot car death of 15-month-old Benjamin Seitz at the hands of his father Kyle Seitz has resulted in an Alford plea and no prison time.
The Alford plea allowed Kyle to maintain his insistence that he wasn’t guilty of criminal negligent homicide in the death of his son while acknowledging that prosecution had enough evidence to convict.
According to a report from NBC Miami, Seitz forgot to take his son to day care on the morning of July 7, 2014.
As a result, Benjamin sat in his car seat for seven hours with the windows rolled up as temperatures outside escalated north of 80 degrees.
During the course of the day, Benjamin developed and eventually died from hyperthermia, a condition characterized by an elevated body temperature that occurs as a result of producing or absorbing more heat than is given off.
Heat stroke is one of the most common causes of the condition, and the signs and symptoms, according to Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine include hot, dry skin, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and extremely low blood pressure.
A judge sympathized with Kyle Seitz and the rest of his family (wife and two children).
“I cannot punish him more than this event has punished him. Nor would I choose to do so… Because traditional theories of punishment are not warranted in this case.”
The judge also noted that the pre-sentencing investigation — particularly the character statements pertaining to Kyle Seitz — painted the dad in one of the most positive lights the judge had ever seen “in 17 years of reading them.”
Kyle’s wife, Lindsay Rogers-Seitz, also spoke out for leniency when it came to sentencing her husband. From her statement.
“The pain of losing Ben is visceral. It never goes away. I want to sweep his blond curls out of his face again and kiss him, hold him, but I can’t. Losing him this way has taught me the greatest lesson of all that a mother and a wife can know and that’s the lesson of resiliency and hope and the power of the human spirit to reach within itself and find a greater good, even it it’s darkest hour. But only when focused on love, understanding and compassion can we do that…. It is my greatest respect, your honor, that I ask you this today for compassion and leniency in sentencing my husband and the father my children by asking that you release him to his family so that we can finally be at peace and that we can grieve and heal together as a family.”
Seitz received a one-year suspended sentence and a two-year conditional discharge provided he is not arrested again and that he seeks and maintains treatment.
Do you think Seitz’ sentencing for the hot car death was too lenient? Share your thoughts in the comments section.