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Fla. Groom Pleads Guilty in Baby Death

February 17, 2005

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated manslaughter in the death of his 9-month-old daughter, who was left in a parked car at the racetrack where he worked as a groom.

Antonio Balta, 28, could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. Assistant State Attorney Howard Scheinberg argued that Balta should be sentenced to at least 20 years; Balta’s attorney said he should get house arrest and probation.

The girl was left in a car at Gulfstream Park while temperatures rose into the upper 70s. Rescue workers tried to resuscitate her but she died later at a hospital.

A sentencing hearing was set for March 21.

Before moving to Florida less than a year ago, Balta, of Elmont, N.Y., worked at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

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