Mother and Boyfriend Accused in Toddler Death to be Tried in September
By Vanessa Miller, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A trial date in September has been set for an Iowa City mother and her boyfriend accused in the April death of the woman’s 20-month-old son.
Both Mireya Balderas, 18, and Jorge Perez, 20, are scheduled to be tried together on child endangerment resulting in death charges on Sept. 4. A pretrial conference date for their cases has been set for Aug. 24.
The couple has demanded a speedy trial, according to online court records, meaning they want to be tried within 90 days of entering their pleas. Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness said her office intends to try Balderas and Perez together, although their defense attorneys could file a motion to separate the cases.
Balderas and Perez were arrested June 10 in connection with the death of Marcus Balderas, who was rushed to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on April 30, where he died of blunt force injuries to the head. The manner of the toddler’s death was ruled as homicide.
Perez has been charged with two counts of child endangerment resulting in death – one for a series of assaults that police say led to the toddler’s death and one for the injuries that investigators say took Marcus’ life on April 30.
Balderas also faces a charge of child endangerment resulting in death on allegations she participated in the abuse and didn’t protect her child from Perez.
Perez has told a judge in open court that authorities are lying. According to a criminal complaint, Perez told officers that he never meant to kill the child.
Balderas entered a plea of not guilty on Friday, and Perez entered a plea of not guilty Monday. Perez is being held at the Johnson County Jail in lieu of a $2 million bond, and Balderas is being held on a $1 million bond.
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