No manslaughter charge in baby’s death at Hialeah motel

 

dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

A Hialeah couple will be not be charged with manslaughter after their baby fell out of the second-story room of a Hialeah motel room last month, prosecutors said Thursday.

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, in a memo released Thursday, said it cannot prove that Luis Enrique Rodriguez and Jacqueline Sanchez were negligent when their son climbed through the window and fell to his death.

However, prosecutors will file drug and child neglect charges on Oct. 15.

On Sept. 17, Luis Enrique Rodriguez Jr., who would have turned 2 in October, fell out the window at the El Paraiso Motel, 1615 W. Okeechobee Rd. He was later declared brain dead at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Hialeah police said officers found traces of cocaine, plus booze, inside the room at the “erotic” motel room, which featured a stripper pole, colored lights and a Jacuzzi.

Officers found two baggies of cocaine and a powdered form of Ecstasy inside the room.

But Sanchez told officers she was not on drugs and had only briefly left the child in a chair near the window, which she believed was closed. The father said he thought the window was open, with the curtains closed.

“She repeated she would never have left the boy standing on the chair by an open window,” according to a State Attorney’s memo released Thursday.

Prosecutors could not charge manslaughter by culpable negligence because they could not prove the mother — who was caring for the body — put him in the chair while knowing the window was open and that he could have climbed through and fallen to his death.

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