PRIMGHAR, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to charges filed in the death of his 5-month-old daughter.
Lawrence Ruotolo Jr., 20, of Sheldon, entered his written plea Monday to two counts of child endangerment. His trial was scheduled for Aug. 10, The Sioux City Journal reported.
The girl’s mother, Brittanee Baker, 21, of Sheldon, also faces two counts of child endangerment. She has not yet been arraigned.
Prosecutors said Ruotolo lost his temper and injured the child on July 26 when she wouldn't stop crying at the family's home in Sheldon. She was treated and released at an emergency room.
She was found the next day without a pulse and not breathing after she was again in Ruotolo's care. She was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital, where she died on July 31. The death was caused by “a suffocation event of an indeterminate nature,” court documents said.
Stacie Hurlburt, 49, of Sheldon, is awaiting arraignment on two counts of accessory after the fact. Prosecutors allege she helped the parents devise a story about how the child was injured.
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