A murder charge was filed Monday against a Los Angeles man accused in the beating death of his 4-year-old son.
Hirwin Calderon-Ordonez, 24, was arraigned this afternoon on one felony count each of murder and assault on a child causing death. He sat sobbing in a glass-walled custody area of the downtown courtroom while waiting for the case to be called, still dressed in street clothes, before entering a not guilty plea.
A young woman, who may have been the boy's mother, was seen crying in the gallery and trading looks with the defendant. She later walked out with defense attorney Andy Miri, who declined a request for comment.
Bail was set at $2 million and the defendant was ordered to return July 29, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
Top news of the day
Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami told the court he turned over discovery to the defense that included two reports of suspected child abuse, a recording of the 911 call that brought paramedics to the family's home and photos of the boy's injuries.
Calderon-Ordonez' son, Justin Sontay-Oxlaj, died at County-USC Medical Center after being brought there about 3 a.m. last Thursday from his family's residence in the 4600 block of Honduras Street in the southeast Los Angeles area, according to the coroner's office and the Los Angeles Police Department.
The coroner completed an autopsy the following day and ruled the death a homicide by blunt force trauma, Hatami told the court. The online records of the coroner's office show the cause of death as deferred pending additional investigation.
Asked for additional details of Justin's injuries, Hatami said they amounted to "massive blunt force trauma."
Police had quickly classified the death as suspicious. An LAPD detective told reporters at the scene that the boy's body showed evidence of physical trauma. Calderon-Ordonez was arrested later that day.
According to media reports, it was the father who called 911. The child's mother was not home at the time. The boy was not breathing when paramedics arrived.
Calderon-Ordonez faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted as charged.