Father of 16-month-old twins left in SUV set for trial later this month

The trial is scheduled July 31 for the Carroll County father accused of killing his 16-month-old twin daughters by leaving them inside a hot SUV, an assistant district attorney said Wednesday.

Asa Martell North was indicted in September with two counts of second-degree murder,  two counts of cruelty to children in the second degree and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, District Attorney Pete Skandalakis previously said. Ariel Roxanne North and Alaynah Maryanne North died Aug. 4 after their father left them in the backseat parked outside of the family's Carrollton home, according to investigators.

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The twins’ mother, Breal Ellis, left the girls with their father while she went to Grady Memorial Hospital to visit her sister, who had been critically injured in a car wreck, she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

During the day, Ellis checked in with North to ask about the girls, and he told her they were fine, she said. But in reality, Ariel and Alaynah had somehow slipped North’s mind and were trapped in their car seats in the back seat of his Nissan Rogue, according to Carrollton police.

By the time North found the girls, it was too late to save them. North admitted he had been drinking, and that night, he was arrested. He is currently free on bond.

Entertainment mogul Tyler Perry paid for the funeral for the girls after seeing an interview with Ellis on Channel 2 Action News.

"I was just very grateful, " Ellis said of Perry's gift. "This has shown me that everyone has to love one another. We can always forgive, but we can never forget."