Connecticut father spared prison time in death of toddler son left in car on hot summer day

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DANBURY, Connecticut — A judge on Thursday spared a Connecticut father from prison time in the death of a young son he left in a car on a hot day, saying the man had suffered enough.

Kyle Seitz of Ridgefield received two years of conditional release, a sentence similar to probation, at the hearing in Danbury Superior Court.

Authorities say Seitz forgot to take his 15-month-old son, Benjamin, to day care on July 7 and left him in the car for seven hours while he went to work. Temperatures that day hit the upper 80s. Co-workers said he spent the day working as usual, even making a quick trip in the car to a sandwich shop, not realizing Benjamin was in the back, according to the arrest warrant.

Benjamin's mother, Lindsey Rogers-Seitz, wrote a letter that was read aloud in court asking for leniency for her husband.

"It is with my greatest respect, your honor, that I ask this of you today — for compassion and leniency in sentencing my husband. For him to be released to be with his family, so that we can finally be at peace to grieve and heal together," she wrote in the letter read by her attorney.

Seitz pleaded guilty on March 10 to criminally negligent homicide under an Alford plea, in which he did not admit guilt but agreed the prosecution had enough evidence to convict him at trial. He had been facing up to a year in prison.

"I do believe Mr. Seitz has endured a sufficient level of suffering," Judge Kevin Russo said, according to WTIC-TV.

Seitz, who has two other children, has been free on bail. His wife and two daughters moved to Colorado following Benjamin's death and Seitz is now free to join them.

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