PHOENIX – A man whose one-year-old son died after he left the child unattended in a hot car for over four hours will spend more than two decades in prison. Brokale Lytte Marques (D.O.B. 10/13/1984) was charged with murder and child abuse. He waived his right to a trial and agreed to plead guilty to reduced charges in exchange for a 23-year prison term with no possibility of early release and credit for roughly two years and four months of time served. He will be placed on a three-year term of supervised probation following his release.
“Although this Defendant pled to the lesser offense of child abuse, his sentence is commensurate with a second degree murder conviction and represents an appropriate punishment for the needless cruelty and neglect he showed toward his son,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “The death of this innocent child is all the more tragic because it was entirely preventable.”
At approximately 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, 2013, emergency units were dispatched to the Scottsdale Quarter retail and office complex in response to a 9-1-1 call about an unconscious one-year-old child who was hyperventilating. Upon arrival, first responders administered live saving measures to the child and transported him to a local hospital where his internal temperature was determined to be 106.5 degrees. Three days later, the child succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.
When interviewed by Scottsdale Police, the child’s father, Brokale Marques, stated that he awoke that morning and realized he was required to work that day. He stated that he was running late and did not have time to arrange a babysitter for his son. He did not feed the child breakfast and provided him with a half a cup of water. Marques arrived at work at around 9:00 a.m. and left his son inside the car with the engine running, the air conditioning on and the windows rolled up. He returned to the vehicle about two hours later and took his son to a nearby Burger King for lunch.
Marques said that when he returned to work between 11:30 and 11:45 a.m., he thought the vehicle was cool enough so he left his son in the car with the engine off and the windows rolled up. The exterior temperature that day reached 98 degrees. Marques returned to the car at around 2:00 p.m. to check on the child and found him unconscious with vomit on his chest. He said he drove around in search of a hospital but was unable to locate one. He then drove to the Scottsdale Quarter and contacted a security officer who called 9-1-1.
Over the course of their investigation, detectives learned that Marques was required to work one Saturday a month and that he knew at least three weeks in advance that he had to work on September 21st. They learned that babysitters who had watched his son on previous occasions were available on the 21st and were anticipating Marques would leave the child with them on that day. Investigators also became aware of previous instances in which Marques had neglected to provide proper care for his son.