A Georgia man whose twin babies died after he allegedly left them in a hot car was denied bond today by a Carroll County judge.
Channel 2 Action News reports that Asa North, 24, is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of reckless conduct after his 15-month-old twin girls died from heat stroke. The babies were left in North’s Nissan Murano SUV for several hours on Thursday afternoon, with temperatures in the 90s. Police think North may have been drinking that afternoon. According to Carrollton Police Capt. Chris Dobbs,
“We do believe alcohol is involved. We do believe the father, sometime throughout the day, he had been consuming alcoholic beverages.”
North appeared before a Carroll County judge on Friday morning, where he learned he would have to stay in jail without bond. The decision came after the judge reviewed the suspect’s arrest record. He’s been arrested six previous times.
North kept his head down as the judge spoke to him and appeared in disbelief when he was denied bond. He shook his head on the way out. His aunt told Channel 2 Action News that North’s father died 10 years ago today, but he’d been struggling with ways to cope with it for years, which may have played a part in why he was allegedly drinking. According to his aunt,
“He was with those babies every day. He loved those babies. He’s just so sorry.”
Previous reports indicated that the twins’ mother was getting a medical check-up after she’d been in a car accident, but she was actually checking up on a relative who had been injured in an accident. She wasn’t home when the incident occurred.
So far, it’s unclear how long the babies were left in the car, but it doesn’t take long for heat to become unbearable when sitting in a car with closed windows. Dobbs stated that neighbors discovered the twins after North was heard yelling from his front porch. They then saw him running with the babies towards the back of his duplex, where he tried to cool them off in a kiddie pool. Several of the neighbors jumped in to help, while others grabbed ice packs.
“The neighbors heard some screaming – I guess coming from the father – and saw him running around back with the two children. One of the neighbors got some ice packs out of the freezer and carried it out there.”
When officers arrived, they attempted to perform CPR on the twins, but it was too late. They were transported to the hospital, but both sadly passed away. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab is expected to perform autopsies on both babies.
Meanwhile, Donnie Holland, North’s uncle, said that the suspect should have been more diligent in watching his twins. He also indicated that North may have fell asleep inside his home while the twins remained in the SUV.
“I guess he forgot about the kids and left them in the car. He should have took care of them kids better than that, what he did. He should have never been in the house asleep. He should have got the kids out of the car the time he got out of the car, you know.”
CNN reports that there are generally two ways that children die of heat stroke in a car. They either climb in the vehicle themselves and get stuck, or a parent or caregiver gets distracted and unintentionally leaves them in there. In some rare instances, parents leave a child in a vehicle intentionally. In June 2104, Justin Ross Harris, an Atlanta man who left his son in his car while he went to work for eight hours, is accused of purposely leaving the baby behind.
Court records indicate that Harris performed internet searches on “how to survive in prison.” He also visited a “child-free” message board on Reddit. He is awaiting his trial, scheduled to take place in Brunswick, Georgia, after a judge decided he wouldn’t get a fair trial in Atlanta.
[Image via Carroll County Sheriff’s Office]