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Father pleads guilty to misdemeanor in child’s hot-car death

Updated July 23, 2021 - 4:19 pm

The father of a toddler who died in his hot car pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge of child abuse, neglect or endangerment.

Sidney Deal, 28, appeared in custody in a Las Vegas courtroom and entered a type of plea that allowed him to admit only that prosecutors had enough evidence to prove the allegations to a jury.

His daughter, Sayah Deal, died on the afternoon of Oct. 5 — just a few months shy of her second birthday.

She had spent at least an hour locked inside her father’s brand new car parked at 1719 H St.

Deal flagged down a passing patrol car when he realized his keys were locked in the car with his daughter, but he initially refused to break a window to rescue his daughter, police said.

That day, temperatures peaked at 96 degrees.

Officers eventually smashed a window and took the child out, but her body was in “rigor mortis,” according to Deal’s arrest report.

“Sidney insisted he not damage his new vehicle, stating he had just bought the car and did not have the money to repair a broken window,” the document states.

Deal was initially charged with felony child abuse.

Sayah was remembered Oct. 23 in a memorial service hosted by her mother, Mariah Coleman, who shared custody with Deal.

“He had no remorse in his mug shot,” Coleman previously told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “My baby is gone, and I need somebody to do time.”

Deal also had two sons from another relationship, and in October 2018, the boys’ mother, Porcha Henderson, filed a lawsuit requesting sole custody of the boys, who were 1 and 3 at the time.

In her reasons, she cited domestic violence and Child Protective Services involvement.

Between July 17, 2018, and June 16, 2020, CPS investigated five allegations of possible abuse at Sayah’s family homes, a Department of Family Services report showed. Each allegation was found unsubstantiated.

The report does not specify which parent’s house was investigated in each of the calls.

As part of his plea agreement, Deal faces a maximum sentence of nearly one year at the Clark County Detention Center and a fine of up to $2,000.

District Judge Eric Johnson ordered Deal to be released on his own recognizance.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 15.

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

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