Ardmore man arrested in infant's hot car death appears in court

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ARDMORE, OK -- A man arrested in connection with the hot car death of an Ardmore infant last month was in court today.

Prosecutors say the preliminary hearing conference for Richard Chastain, the man accused of leaving a child in a hot car for several hours resulting in the infant's death, has been continued until they receive the results of a toxicology test.

Chastain, 42, is being charged with manslaughter in the first degree. Investigators say a two month old boy, whose family had left him in Chastain's care, was found dead inside a hot car on June 12th on 2nd Avenue North East .

"We are still awaiting some results from some testing that was done in the hours following the discovery of the child's body. So as a result, the preliminary hearing conference has been continued," said first assistant district attorney,Heather Cooper.

She says the infant had been left inside the car for 7 hours as the temperature rose to over 100 degrees. Cooper says Chastain was supposed to take the infant to daycare with another child, a one year old. And while Chastain did drop off the one year old, for some unknown reason, he did not drop off the infant boy.

She says evidence shows Chastain was aware the infant was in the car, and they are looking into whether he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"The police department doesn't recommend ever leaving your children unattended in your vehicle. Particularly, this time of year when it's hot. It doesn't take long for the temperatures to rise to lethal levels particularly for children under the ages of 6," said Captain Eric Hamblin with the Ardmore Police Department.

Hamblin says no matter what the temperature, there's never a good excuse for leaving a child alone in a vehicle.

"There are other things that could happen. They sometimes knock them out of gear, then they roll, then they're involved in crashes. They can be taken from the cars. So never leave your children unattended in a vehicle, especially when you don't have eyes on the vehicle."

Chastain remains behind bars on a $75,000 bond. His preliminary hearing conference has been set for August 26th.