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A father whose 17-month-old son died after being left in a hot car nearly three years ago will remain on the state's Child Maltreatment Registry, the state Court of Appeals ruled this week.

The identity of the appellant in the case was sealed shortly after it was first filed in September. Court documents use the male pronoun and refer to him by the initials "WN."

The case sought to reverse a decision by the Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Division to place the father on the maltreatment list after a finding of "neglect by inadequate supervision."

The Child Maltreatment Central Registry covers people accused of various types of child abuse, ranging from neglect to physical abuse, regardless of whether the accused were prosecuted. All that's necessary for placement on the registry is a report filed with state Department of Human Services investigators that is found to be true.

The list is used in pre-employment screenings by school districts, day care centers, hospitals and other organizations that have children in their care.

Those on the list for certain offenses can request removal through an internal process at the state Department of Human Services. But those who were placed on the registry for abuse or neglect that caused the death of the child are there permanently and cannot even request an internal appeal, according to administrative rules.

The only possible remedy the offender has is to appeal to the court system.

In this case, WN lost appeals on three levels: first by the Arkansas administrative law judge, then by the Pulaski County Circuit Court and then by the state Court of Appeals on Wednesday.

In the appeals, WN said the state police division had not proved that he showed "conscious" disregard of parental responsibility in the death of his son in July 2015.

"Essentially, WN asserted that, due to the unusual circumstances and stresses of that day, his brain reverted to habit, and he lost awareness of his child, and to lose awareness is not disregard of a duty; therefore, no neglect occurred," according to the state Court of Appeals decision.

Court of Appeals Judge Bart Virden said in his ruling Wednesday that the administrative law judge and circuit judge made the correct decision in saying that enough evidence existed to prove that the toddler's death was caused by "neglect by inadequate supervision."

"WN placed TN in a car seat in a car on a hot day, a known potentially dangerous situation," Virden wrote in the ruling.

The facts of the case mirror that of Garland County Circuit Judge Wade Naramore, who was acquitted by a jury in 2016 of misdemeanor negligent homicide in the death of his 17-month-old son, Thomas Naramore. The toddler died after being left in a hot car for more than five hours.

Naramore testified in his 2016 criminal trial that he "lost awareness" that his son was in the vehicle and he forgot to drop the child off at day care.

The case referenced in the Child Maltreatment Registry appeal refers to a child with the initials TN who died on July 24, 2015 -- the same day that Thomas Naramore passed away. The appeal affirmation also cites the names of the same witnesses who testified at Naramore's criminal trial.

Messages left for Naramore and his attorneys, Erin Cassinelli and Patrick Benca, were not returned as of late Thursday.

Metro on 06/08/2018

Print Headline: Dad in hot-car death loses delisting appeal

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Archived Comments

  • dumblikeme
    June 8, 2018 at 8:16 a.m.

    "Essentially, WN asserted that, due to the unusual circumstances and stresses of that day, his brain reverted to habit, and he lost awareness of his child, and to lose awareness is not disregard of a duty; therefore, no neglect occurred,"

    Now I get it. HE wasn't negligent...it was his BRAIN that was negligent.

  • Razrbak
    June 8, 2018 at 8:16 a.m.

    With that finding he needs to step down. He will forever have the problem of the appearance of bias in any DHS case and possibly others. Every litigant that comes before him could seek and obtain a recusal citing aspects of his situation, thus rendering him useless as a judge.

  • RobertBolt
    June 8, 2018 at 8:51 a.m.

    Only a lawyer and the perpetrator he defends could argue such behavior was not neglectful. Everyone else knows better, and I bet they really do, too.

  • PopMom
    June 8, 2018 at 9:33 a.m.

    Razrbak is correct. How can he judge issues involving child neglect now? He should have been required to step down long ago. I feel sorry for him, but he simply is unqualified to rule on these matters now. People have got to figure in enough time for caring for their children and getting enough sleep to make sure that they adequately can.

  • MaxCady
    June 8, 2018 at 11:16 a.m.

    Done in by the prefrontal cortex.

  • BEARTRAP919
    June 8, 2018 at 2:29 p.m.

    Ungrateful BasTAXD. He should be in Prison like the Others that did the Same thing and let their kids die in Hot Cars, No because he has High Standing in the Community he got a free get out of jail card, and now the ungrateful Axs wants his name taken off the LIST. Arrogant, Rich Upstanding citizen that he is, Regular People get thrown in Jail, This Axs gets SPECIAL TREATMENT, HE IS ABOVE THE LAW. CRAPPY COURT SYSTEM ON FULL DISPLAY.

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