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TWIN FALLS — The father of a baby who died in June after being left for hours inside a hot car was arrested Friday and charged with the attempted strangulation of a woman.

Court records say, Richard Ross, who was out on bond on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of his 10-month-old daughter, tackled the woman to the ground and punched her in the back of the head and in the arm on the evening of Oct. 19 after an argument.

The next morning, as the woman was getting ready for work, Ross, 29, asked for the keys to their car. When she denied him the keys, saying she needed the car to get to work, he tackled her face down on the ground and “used his left arm and put it around her neck in a ‘rear naked choke’ and started to squeeze,” Twin Falls Police Officer Nate Egan wrote in the affidavit.

The woman’s 3-year-old son told Ross, “don’t hurt my mommy,” the affidavit said. Ross eventually let go and the woman left the house with the boy.

The woman’s father told the Times-News Wednesday his daughter called her mother “while walking through the rain” Friday morning. Her mother picked her up and took her to the police department.

Police said there was petechiae — red blotches from broken capillaries — on the woman’s face, chin, neck and eyelid. She also had bruises on her head and neck, and “broken blood vessels under both of her eyes.”

The woman told police she was in fear for her and her son’s lives. Ross has a past criminal record of burglary, grand theft, attempted robbery, the affidavit said.

Ross will be in front of a judge Nov. 3 for a preliminary hearing in the involuntary manslaughter charge in the death of his daughter, Natalie. Ross had left the infant sleeping unattended in her car seat in the family’s van June 23, a police report said.

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Dr. Glenn Grobin, forensic pathologist with the Ada County Coroner’s Office, concluded the infant died as a result of hyperthermia due to being in an area with elevated temperatures.

At his arraignment, Ross convinced Magistrate Judge Thomas Kershaw he was not a flight risk and Kershaw reduced his bail from $250,000 to $5,000.

The maximum sentence for felony involuntary manslaughter is 10 years in prison or a $10,000 fine or both. If convicted, attempted strangulation is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.


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