Adoptive father acquitted of 10-year manslaughter sentence

An American man has been acquitted of manslaughter by a U.S. court over the death of a baby boy he had adopted from Russia. Defendant Miles Harrison fainted after hearing the verdict.

An American man has been acquitted of manslaughter by a U.S. court over the death of a baby boy he had adopted from Russia.

Russian Foreign Ministry says it's outraged by the decision to clear Miles Harrison, who left the baby in a car during blazing summer heat.

The court in the U.S. state of Virginia ruled there was not enough proof of manslaughter in the man’s actions.

On July 8 Harrison’s wife Carol asked him to drop off the child at the daycare center on his way to work. The man stopped at a dry cleaner’s and headed straight into the office, and forgot about the child. The 21-month old baby spent nine hours in front of his father's workplace in 90 degree Fahrenheit heat.

The child died of heatstroke in the vehicle.

“The court does not find beyond reasonable doubt that the elements of involuntary manslaughter have been met,” Fairfax Circuit Court Judge R. Terrence Ney said. “For this reason, the defendant is found not guilty.”

The judge said no prison term could cause more pain than that which Harrison has already suffered.

“The only true atonement here can only take place within his heart and soul,” he said.

If sentenced, Miles Harrison would spend ten years in prison.

The boy, born Dmitry Yakovlev, had been living in Russia's Pskov Region children house was adopted by the couple three months prior to his death.

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