PHOENIX – A man whose infant son died after he was left in a parked car more than two hours last August has been sentenced to a term of four years in the Arizona Department of Corrections followed by a seven-year term of probation. Daniel B. Gray (D.O.B. 12/16/1981) waived his right to a jury trial and pled guilty to one count of manslaughter and one count of child abuse last month. He has also been ordered to participate in a domestic violence offender treatment program.
“The life of this innocent child was tragically and needlessly taken by the selfish actions of this defendant who failed to live up to the fundamental responsibility of being a parent,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family along with our hope that today’s sentence will provide a measure of justice and help assuage their grief,” he added.
Just before noon on Wednesday, August 28, 2013, Phoenix Police responded to an emergency call at B.T.’s Sports Pub at 1310 North Scottsdale Road. After arriving at the scene, a patrol officer entered the rear of the business and discovered a lifeless baby on a food cart and defendant Daniel Gray who stated he had left his son in his parked car for approximately three hours with no air conditioning. The officer performed CPR until Phoenix Fire personnel arrived and transported the victim to Scottsdale Shea Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Gray told police that he was the manager for the business and that the day of the incident was his day off. He stated that he drove to the business at approximately 10:30 a.m. to take care of some things that could not wait until his next shift. He took his son with him intending to take him inside but inadvertently left him in the car. Gray returned to the vehicle at approximately 11:55 a.m. and realized he had left his son inside. He removed the child and took him inside and into the walk-in cooler in an apparent effort to lower his body temperature, which was later determined to be 107.9 degrees. One of the employees began to perform CPR while another called 911.
When interviewed by police, other employees stated that Gray had been at the business prior to 10:30 a.m. and that he had smoked marijuana with another employee while he was there. He was arrested the following day.
On September 5, 2013, the Grand Jurors of Maricopa County returned an indictment charging Gray with one count of manslaughter and one count of child abuse. In agreeing to plead guilty to both counts, Gray stipulated to a prison term of up to six years followed by a term of probation of no less than five years.