Leonardtown Man Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in Death of His Infant Son - Southern Maryland Headline News

Leonardtown Man Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in Death of His Infant Son


GREENBELT, Md. (Sept. 4, 2014)—A criminal complaint was filed today charging John MacDonald Junek, age 40, of Leonardtown, Maryland, with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of his infant son. An initial appearance is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day, in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The criminal complaint was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Darrell Gilliard of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Washington Field Office.

The criminal complaint alleges that at 3:25 p.m. on September 3, 2014, Junek's infant son was found unresponsive, locked inside Junek's vehicle which was parked at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, where Junek worked. According to the criminal complaint, Junek dropped his four year old son at preschool that morning and was then supposed to drop his infant son at the Child Development Center on NAS Patuxent River. Junek explained that he entered the base and drove directly to his office, leaving his son in his rear-facing car seat in his locked vehicle at approximately 8:50 a.m.

According to the criminal complaint, Junek's wife called him at 3:20 p.m. to see if he had their son's car seat with him. Junek could not recall whether he had the car seat and realized that he may not have dropped the baby off at the CDC. Junek went to his vehicle and discovered the infant in his car seat unconscious. Junek called emergency responders and attempted to perform CPR on the child until police and EMS arrived and took over.

According to the criminal complaint, Junek had driven his vehicle to a meeting at approximately 1:00 p.m. He remained at the meeting until 2:00 p.m. and drove back to his office. Junek advised law enforcement that he had been in a hurry to get to the meeting and had not noticed his son was still strapped to his car seat in rear of the vehicle. The temperature reached 85 degrees on September 3, 2014.

Junek faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. He is currently detained.

A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the NCIS for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Kristi O'Malley and Michael Packard, who are prosecuting the case.

Source: Office of United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein

Details of the case as presented in the Arrest Warrant by the NCIS investigator:

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On September 3, 2014, at approximately 3:25 p.m., NAS Patuxent River base police responded to a 911 call from JUNEK that his infant son had been found locked inside a vehicle at the parking lot located at Building 2187 on NAS Patuxent River, where JUNEK worked. The infant was described as unconscious, unresponsive, and not breathing. EMS, other emergency personnel, and base police responded to the scene. Emergency personnel made efforts to revive the infant, but were unsuccessful and, the infant was pronounced deceased on scene.

Law enforcement spoke with JUNEK at the scene. JUNEK told law enforcement that he had dropped his 4 year old son at pre-school and was then supposed to drop off his infant son at the Child Development Center ("CDC") on NAS Patuxent River. JUNEK explained that he had driven to NAS Patuxent River, entered the base, and drove directly to his office at building 2187. JUNEK further explained that he had failed to drop his son off at the CDC and instead left the child inside in his rear-facing car-seat the vehicle parked in the parking lot at approximately 8:50 a.m.

Your affiant, through investigation, determined that outside temperature reached 85 degrees in the NAS Patuxent River area on September 3, 2014.

JUNEK told law enforcement that he had received a call from his wife at approximately 3:20 p.m. that day, and she had asked him if he had their son's car seat with him. JUNEK recalled that he was not sure if he had the car seat or not and then realized that he had possibly not dropped the child victim off at the CDC. JUNEK stated that he went to his vehicle to check and discovered the child victim still sitting in his car seat unconscious. JUNEK opened the car door and then began to try to awaken the victim but was unsuccessful. He told law enforcement that he called 911 and then attempted to perform CPR on the victim until police and EMS arrived and took over.

JUNEK also told law enforcement that at approximately 12:58 p.m. that same day, he had departed his office for a 1:00 p.m. meeting in a different building and had to drive his vehicle to get there. JUNEK explained that he had opened the door to his vehicle, and that it was very hot in the vehicle. JUNEK stated that he had to open the windows and turn on the air conditioner to get the hot air out of the vehicle and that it took until he had departed the parking lot and was driving down the road for the vehicle to cool down. JUNEK was in the meeting until approximately 2:00 p.m., and he returned to his office and parked the vehicle again in the parking lot at Building 2187 with the windows rolled up. During the time of his use of the vehicle during the day, JUNEK stated that he had been in a hurry to get to his meeting and did not notice that his son was still strapped to his car seat in the rear seat of the vehicle. 11. Based on your affiant's investigation, JUNEK left his infant child inside the vehicle with the windows rolled up for approximately 7 hours in temperatures up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which constitutes the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony, the commission in an unlawful manner, and the commission without due caution and circumspection of a lawful act which led to JUNEK's infant son's death.

CONCLUSION

Based on the aforementioned facts and circumstances, your affiant submits respectfully that there is probable cause to believe that John MacDonald JUNEK committed involuntary manslaughter in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1112 on or about September 3, 2014 Naval Air Station ("NAS") Patuxent River, Maryland.

RELATED INFORMATION:

Infant Found Dead in Vehicle Onboard NAS PAXRVR, September 03, 2014
http://somd.com/news/headlines/2014/18531.shtml

Arrest Warrant
http://www.scribd.com/doc/238665396/Arrest-Warrant-for-John-M-Junek 

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