Couple pleads not guilty in death of 20-month-old

BY DI STAFF | JULY 05, 2012 6:30 AM

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The couple charged in the death of 20-month-old Marcus Balderas have pleaded not guilty.

Jorge Perez, 20, and Mireya Balderas, 18, are charged with beating 20-month-old Marcus to death in April. Both face Class-B felony charges, punishable of up to 50 years in jail.

Perez and Balderas demanded a speedy trial, and they will face a jury trial Sept. 4 with a pretrial conference set for Aug. 24, according to online court documents.

According to an Iowa City police press release, a medical examination showed 20-month-old Marcus had broken ribs, bruises on his head, face, stomach, and back, bleeding in his head, and numerous bruises on his head. The final autopsy reported the death as a homicide with blunt-force injuiries to the head, the release said.

Lt. Doug Hart said three children related to Perez were removed from the home and placed into foster care in June.

Balderas is being held at the Johnson County Jail on a $1 million bond, and Perez is being held on a $2.05 million bond.

—By Aly Brown

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