DA will not prosecute father of 8-month-old who died after being left in car

DA will not prosecute father of 8-month-old who died after being left in car
Marvin Mercer (Source: East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office)
Marvin Mercer (Source: East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The 19th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced Monday afternoon that it would not be prosecuting the father of the 8-month-old girl who died after being left inside of a hot car Wednesday, June 8.

"All of this is consistent in showing that this was a tragic accident. This afternoon, my office met with several members of the Mercer's family. By their accounts as well as accounts from others, Marvin Mercer is a loving father, husband and role model to youth in the Baton Rouge area," said District Attorney Hillar Moore in a release. "Throughout this tragedy, Marvin Mercer has had the complete support of his wife, family, colleagues, and friends."

Marvin Mercer. 31. was arrested and charged with negligent homicide in the death of his daughter 8-month-old Raylee Mercer.

Baton Rouge Police said Raylee Mercer was left in the car by her father for two hours while he was coaching at Madison Prep.

He told police he was supposed to drop her off at daycare on his way to work, but forgot and went straight to work. According to the probable cause report, he realized he left his daughter in vehicle when he returned to go to lunch.

Police said Mercer then took the unresponsive child to the hospital, where medical staff attempted to save the girl, but they were unable to help Raylee, who died soon after arriving.

According to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office, Raylee died from hyperthermia and her death was ruled accidental.

In a release Monday, Moore said that there was not enough probable cause to present the case to a grand jury. He said that even though Mercer's actions contributed to Raylee's death, they did not meet the requirements to be considered criminal.

"The facts and evidence show that Raylee was well cared for and not subject to neglect, abuse or mistreatment. Marvin Mercer has no previous history that suggests he was in any way careless to the needs of his children," said Moore in a release. "Given these facts and circumstances, I do not believe there is a sufficient basis for a criminal charge provable at trial beyond a reasonable doubt."

"This is not to say that there are no other child deaths that have been prosecuted and may arise again the in future. In each of these cases, it is incumbent on me and my office to examine the totality of circumstances behind each death."

Moore stated that 12 to 24 children die in similar situations every year. He urged the community "to recognize that our local summer climate places us all at a greater risk for incurring these tragedies."

Moore has previously said on June 10 that it was likely Mercer would not be prosecuted, but that his office was still going to review final reports before making a final decision.

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