Lesser charge dropped against Iowa City man accused in toddler's murder

BY DI STAFF | JULY 20, 2012 6:30 AM

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Prosecutors have dismissed the aggravated misdemeanor charge against Jorge Perez, an Iowa City man accused of beating a toddler to death.

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

Perez was originally charged with child endangerment with no injury, an aggravated misdemeanor, after leaving Marcus home alone in April.

Prosecutors dismissed the lesser charge this week, 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 injuries to the head, the release said.

Three children related to Perez were removed from the residence and placed in 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.

Perez and Balderas have 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.

— by Aly Brown

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