OGDEN — Local prosecutors have made a decision on whether or not pursue the death penalty against an Ogden man accused of killing his infant son.
Capital punishment will not be sought against Alex Hidalgo, 38, who was charged with aggravated murder in July 2018, Weber County Attorney Christopher Allred said in an email Tuesday morning.
Hidalgo was arrested on July 21, 2018, shortly 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.
Investigators later discovered 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.
During a preliminary hearing in March, the child’s mother 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,” she 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, the woman found the body of Alex Jr., his legs sticking out of a garbage can.
In July, Hidalgo 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, a 60-day period began for the county attorney’s office to determine whether or not they wanted to pursue the death penalty against Hidalgo. However, Allred’s statement Tuesday put an end to that possibility.
If found guilty, Hidalgo could face a maximum punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Earlier this week, one of Hidalgo’s attorneys, Michael Bouwhuis, filed a petition to have Hidalgo undergo a mental health evaluation to determine if he was competent. In the petition, Bouwhuis points to statements Hidalgo reportedly made before the child’s death, including how he allegedly believed that the child had “666” on his body. Prosecutors have yet to file a response to the petition.
Hidalgo’s next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 7 in Ogden’s 2nd District Court. He is being held without bail at the Weber County Jail.
Currently, Weber County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case of Miller Costello and Brenda Emile, an Ogden couple accused of abusing and starving their 3-year-old daughter to death in 2017.