PALMDALE, Calif. - No charges will be dropped against the accused killers of 4-year-old Noah Cuatro.
"People need to know the truth, what this little boy went through," says Eva Hernandez.
She’s talking about her great-grandson Noah Cuatro, the four-year-old Palmdale boy who died on July 6, 2019.
At the time, the parents -- Jose Maria Cuatro Jr. and Ursula Elain Juarez -- told deputies the boy fell into a pool and drowned. But investigators say the evidence indicates the boy had been tortured for several months, sexually abused and ultimately killed.
"Those are animalistic type of behaviors and I don’t understand how anybody can put a child through that type of torture; that needs to be highlighted," says Matthew Hernandez, Noah’s uncle.
Hernandez and the boy’s great grandmother attended the pre-trial hearing at the Antelope Valley Courthouse. They were concerned that under LA County DA George Gascón’s new directives, some of the special enhancement allegations like great bodily injury and child abuse causing death, would be dropped.
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"There has to be justice for Noah," says Eva Hernandez.
Even though Gascón reversed course on dropping special enhancement allegations in cases involving children, prosecutors have to get permission for each case.
Deputy DA Jonathan Hatami took no chances and moved forward on his own. Telling the judge, "The indictment is going to remain the same as long as I’m on this case. I’m not going to ask the court to do anything to the indictment."
That was a move deeply appreciated by Noah’s family.
Matthew Hernandez says, "I think it’s very brave of him to continue forward and show a little resistance, that’s what we need for someone to standup for us."
The next hearing in this case is scheduled for March 16, 2021.