31-year-old father charged after baby dies in hot car
PHOENIX – 31-year-old Daniel Bryant Gray, father of an infant, left his baby in a parked car in the Phoenix summertime heat. Gray was smoking marijuana next to the car with a colleague according to the police. The 3-month-old died in the car.
Sgt. Tommy Thompson said that Gray was booked into a Maricopa County jail on Thursday on charges of manslaughter and child abuse.
Police said that on Wednesday, Gray went to check on business at a northeast Phoenix sports bar and restaurant where he worked as a kitchen manager. He forgot that his son was in the car and his son died. When Jamison Dean Gray was removed from the car before noon, the temperature outside was nearly 100 degrees, but the temperature inside the car was much higher.
On Friday, the court document released showed that an unidentified kitchen worker told the investigators that he/she had seen Gray and another employee standing beside Gray’s car, apparently smoking marijuana. Police said in the documents that the employee who was seen with Gray later told police that Gray had asked the employee for marijuana so they both went out back and stood in front of Daniel’s car about an hour before Gray remembered his son. The employee also told police that he didn’t notice the baby in the car and didn’t know Gray was a father. According to the court document, Gray did work that included helping kitchen staff prepare food while he was a worker in the restaurant.
When Gray remembered that he left his son in the car, he removed him but he got the unresponsive baby and took him into the business’ cooler where a colleague started to perform CPR while another called 911.
The first police officer who arrived at the scene attempted to revive the infant before an ambulance arrived, but he didn’t succeed. The 3-month-old was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
On Friday during an initial court hearing for Gray, a prosecutor said, “There’s no question” that Gray didn’t intend his son to die. The prosecutor also said that his crimes in his son’s death are similar to an inattentive driver driving under the influence and causing the death of a passenger.
According to Deputy Maricopa County Attorney George Kelemen Jr., Gray has a criminal history of substance abuse. His history includes convictions for possession of marijuana and aggravated DUI.
Kelemen told a judge who set bail for Gray, “The state believes the tragedy that occurred Wednesday is not simply an unavoidable mistake of a thoughtful parent”.
Gray still doesn’t have a lawyer and he remained in jailed Friday in lieu of $100,000 bond.
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