A Hempstead man was placed under arrest Wednesday night after his 7-month-old son died in the blazing hot car he left him in. Devon Fenner, 25, realized what he had done a half hour later but by then it was too late. The car had quickly reached 119 degrees in the short time the child was left strapped into his car seat.
The incident happened Tuesday afternoon outside of Fenner’s home just after he dropped his girlfriend off at work. Neighbors heard the father’s frightened screams when he saw his son Dominick in the back seat of the car. The child’s grandmother grabbed him from the hot car and tried reviving him but the boy was unresponsive.
“On 90-degree day, in 10 minutes, a car can reach 109 degrees,” said Nassau County police Inspector Kenneth Lack in an interview with CBS. “In 20 minutes, 119 degrees; in 30 minutes, 124 degrees. Body temperature over 105 for an extended period of time for a child, can die very quickly.”
The child passed away 40 minutes after being brought to Mercy Hospital Center. Investigators are trying to determine whether Fenner was high when he forgot his son in the car. Police say he was in possession of marijuana at the time of his arrest.
This isn't Fenner's first arrest. He also has five other prior arrests and has been charged with illegally possessing weapons. For leaving his child in the car Fenner has been charged with criminally negligent homicide. Fenner’s bail has been set to the amount of $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash. If convicted he faces up to four years in prison. He’s expected back at court next week on August 28.
Fenner has two other children ages seven and eight.