OGDEN — An Ogden man accused of killing his 10-month-old son has entered not guilty pleas to all charges against him.
Alex Hidalgo, 38, pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; and abuse or desecration of a dead human body, a third-degree felony.
With his pleas, which he entered during a Tuesday afternoon hearing, the 60-day clock began for the Weber County Attorney’s Office to decide whether or not they want to pursue the death penalty against Hidalgo. Aggravated murder is the only charge in the State of Utah that carries the potential for capital punishment.
During the hearing, Judge Michael DiReda ruled there was sufficient evidence to have the case against Hidalgo move forward based on certain aspects of the case, but not others.
His decision was based on information and testimony presented to the court during a preliminary hearing that took place on March 26, along with subsequent motions and court documents filed in the months afterward.
The decision to bind over the three charges prompted one of Hidalgo’s attorneys, Michael Bouwhuis, to enter not guilty pleas on Hidalgo’s behalf.
Hidalgo was arrested on July 21, 2018, a day after police found his son, Alex Jr., in a garbage can with large wounds to his neck. The child was pronounced dead at an Ogden hospital later that day.
During the March preliminary hearing, the child’s mother, Angie Drake, told the court that she was running errands that day, and returned home to find Alex Jr. was nowhere to be found. She began asking Hidalgo where their son was, and Hidalgo wouldn’t answer. She asked again, and Hidalgo said Alex Jr. was dead. Confused, she asked what he was talking about.
“I started pressing him, I just wanted to know where our baby was,” Drake said in court. “His eyes looked scared, and it scared me.”
She said Hidalgo asked her not to call the police, which scared her even more. Hidalgo left the apartment and jogged down a hallway before leaving the apartment building on Madison Avenue where they lived. Minutes later, Drake found the body of Alex Jr., his legs sticking out of a garbage can.
Investigators would later discover the child suffered from three knife wounds to his neck that severed his carotid artery and jugular vein, which also slightly grazing the child’s spinal cord, according to the medical examiner’s report.
Hidalgo has been held without bail at the Weber County Jail since his arrest.
His next scheduled court date will take place on Oct. 10 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court. The court date is outside of the 60 day time period that prosecutors have to file their intent to seek the death penalty, which was done on purpose.
Prosecutors said during the hearing that once they know which route to take, they will decide how to proceed forward during the October hearing.