LINCOLNTON, N.C. — A judge dismissed charges against a Lincoln County man in the deaths of two children, according to the Gaston Gazette.
Involuntary manslaughter charges against Jordan Keely Arwood were dropped Thursday by Superior Court Judge Ali Paksoy.
Arwood had been charged in the April 7 deaths of his daughter, 6-year-old Chloe Arwood and his nephew, 7-year-old James Caldwell.
The children died when a 20-foot wall of dirt collapsed, burying them alive. They had been playing at the bottom of a pit Jordan Arwood was digging at the home.
Authorities said it took rescue workers about 12 hours to recover the bodies.
Defense attorney Brad Smith said the children’s deaths were a tragic accident but were not the result of a criminal act.
Read more: The Gaston Gazette