A Whittier couple pleaded not responsible Thursday to the torture-homicide of a 2-yr-previous woman whose physique was present in a duffel bag as they have been making an attempt to cross the border into Mexico final summer time.
Mercy Mary Becerra, forty four, and Johnny Lewis Hartley, 39, are charged with one felony rely every of homicide, torture and assault on a toddler inflicting demise involving the woman, who’s recognized within the felony grievance solely as “Angelina W.” The 2 are additionally charged with human trafficking to commit pimping or pandering in reference to the woman’s mom.
Becerra and Hartley allegedly trafficked the lady between November 2012 and August 2016, seized her daughter, severely abused the kid and killed the woman on or about Aug. 9, in accordance with Los Angeles County prosecutors. Authorities have stated they consider the kid died in Whittier.
Becerra and Lewis entered Tijuana in a pedestrian lane Aug. 9, and Becerra ran off as Mexican customs brokers approached the pair, San Diego police stated. Authorities chased her and took her companion into custody.
The woman’s physique was found throughout an X-ray examination of the bag Hartley had been carrying, authorities stated.
San Diego County Deputy District Lawyer Kurt Mechals had stated the kid died in a residential drowning, with contributing causes of malnutrition and dehydration.
San Diego County prosecutors had initially charged the 2 with the woman’s homicide, however that case was subsequently dismissed, in accordance with the Los Angeles County District Lawyer’s Workplace.
Becerra and Hartley stay jailed in lieu of $three.2 million bail every.
They’re due again March sixteen in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom, when a date is scheduled to be set for a listening to to find out if there’s sufficient proof to require them to face trial.
If convicted as charged, the 2 might resist life in state jail.
—Metropolis Information Service
>> Need to learn extra tales like this? Get our Free Every day Newsletters Right here!