No criminal charges for father that left child in hot car
BATON ROUGE - There will be no criminal charges for a Zachary father after he was accused of leaving his infant daughter in the back seat of a hot car last week, according to EBR District Attorney, Hillar Moore.
31-year-old Marvin Mercer, the father of an eight-month-old child who died Wednesday and was later arrested that same day after leaving her in a hot car will not be criminally prosecuted because of the incident.
According to arrest documents, Mercer drove to a local hospital with an unresponsive child in the car seat of his vehicle. Medical staff rushed the child into the hospital and attempted life saving procedures, but to no avail.
Mercer was taken into custody with the Baton Rouge Police Violent Crimes Unit. Mercer told investigators that he was supposed to drop off his eight-month-old daughter, Raylee Mercer, at daycare but instead followed his normal morning routine and drove to work at Madison Preparatory School.
The East Baton Rouge Coroner's office determined Mercer's daughter's death to be accidental. According to Moore, Mercer's acceidental actions are not grounds to be criminally charged.
"The subsequent death of his eight month old daughter, Raylee, has been determined to be accidental, and his own acts have been determined as not rising to the required standard of criminal negligence for a criminal prosecution charge of negligence homicide," Moore released in a statement.
The District Attorney's office examined and evaluated evidence collected by Baton Rouge Police as well as the East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office. Members of Mercer's family also met with Moore before a decision was made.
"By their accounts as well as accounts from others, Marvin Mercer is a loving father, husband and role model to youth in the Baton Rouge area," Moore stated.
Moore stated that Mercer's daughter was well cared for with no signs of neglect, mistreatment or abuse. Moore also cited that Mercer does not have a criminal history or previous history to show that he was careless to his child's needs.
In the statement released by the District Attorney's Office, Moore also stated that Mercer's case does not mean that future child deaths will not be prosecuted.
"This is not to say that there are no other child deaths that have been prosecuted and may arise again the in future. In each of these cases, it is incumbent on me and my office to examine the totality of circumstances behind each death," Moore said.
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