Parents Charged After Falling Dresser Kills Girls

Dad didn't check on pair for 10 to 15 minutes after hearing crash: police

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 25, 2014 9:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – The father of two toddlers who died after a dresser fell on them is facing involuntary manslaughter charges because he heard a crash and didn't immediately check on his daughters, a prosecutor said yesterday. David Beatty, 28, of Aliquippa, Pa., is charged in the deaths of 2-year-old Brooklyn and 3-year-old Ryeley. Brooklyn died shortly after the dresser fell on her July 4, and Ryeley died two days later in a Pittsburgh hospital. Beatty was home alone with the girls and acknowledged he didn't check on them for 10 to 15 minutes after hearing the crash, the DA says; Beatty says he was using the toilet at the time. The dresser weighed 124 pounds, and the girls about 30 pounds each.

"If the children's caregiver, namely David Beatty, the defendant, would have reacted immediately to the sound of the bang, both children would have survived this incident without significant injury," a forensic pathologist told police, according to a criminal complaint. "He stated that he did not think much about the noise because the kids are always jumping off of beds and making noises," police wrote in the complaint. Beatty and his wife, Jennifer, 28, face two counts each of endangering the welfare of children because of the "deplorable" condition of their home, which included dirty bedclothes and diapers and human and animal waste on the floors, walls, and beds, authorities said.

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CBS Pittsburgh's report   (CBS Pittsburgh)

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The sound was described as a bang. As you may or may not know, children make sounds inside of a house. ... This looks to be just a tragic accident. - The couple's attorney, Dale Fouse

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