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Charges Dropped in Pa. Toddler Death

September 17, 2002

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A judge dismissed manslaughter charges Tuesday against a man accused of causing his 20-month-old granddaughter’s death by leaving her in a hot car for nearly eight hours while he went to work.

The judge said he didn’t believe that Calvin Howell, 54, knew Sasha Fogle was still in the car, and said the girl’s death was an accident rather than a case of gross negligence.

``In this type of situation, forgetfulness turns into tragedy,″ Municipal Court Judge Seamus P. McCaffery said.

The judge also dismissed related misdemeanor counts.

Prosecutors said Howell told them he forgot to drop off Sasha at a baby sitter’s home and went to work, leaving the child in the car while temperatures outside rose into the 90s and the car’s interior reached 140 degrees.

Howell declined to speak with reporters after leaving the courtroom.

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