February 26, 2013
A man accused of murdering a 10-month-old pleaded not guilty in court today.
Jesus Espinoza Jr., 47, was charged with murder and child endangerment by the District Attorney’s office last week. He is now being represented by the Alternate Public Defender’s Office, because the Public Defender’s Office stated a conflict of interest in court.
The body of Angelle Negron was found under some brush near Market Street and the Davis Road overcrossing outside of Salinas on Feb. 19, a few days after law enforcement began a search for her.
Investigation on the case is ongoing and some facts, like whether Espinoza was the baby's father, are still unclear, said Jeannine Pacioni, a prosecutor with the District Attorney's office.
Pacioni said that from her understanding Negron had been staying with Espinoza for approximately 10 days prior to the search, because the man had told Negron's mother that he was taking the baby to Disneyland. Espinoza had been the child's mother's boyfriend, but it's unclear whether he still was during the search, the prosecutor said.
Negron's mother appeared in court today with several supporters.
Espinoza is being held on $1.2 million bail.