IOWA CITY — An 18-year-old Iowa City mother and her boyfriend have pleaded not guilty to charges of child endangerment resulting in death.
Mireya Balderas and Jorge Perez, 20, of Iowa City, were arrested June 10 — weeks after 20-month-old Marcus Balderas died on April 30 from blunt force injuries to the head. His death was ruled a homicide.
Perez was 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 were inflicted on April 30 that took Marcus’ life.
Balderas also was charged with child endangerment resulting in death on allegations that she participated in the abuse and didn’t protect her child from Perez.
In open court, Perez has accused police of lying. According to a criminal complaint, he 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.