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Couple Pleads Not Guilty in Death of Their Infant

One-month-old Joshua Licon died on May 30, 2013 at a Long Beach hotel. Malnutrition was listed as a contributing factor in his death.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

A couple charged in the death of their month-old son pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge.

Joshua Licon, 28, also known as Joshua Fernandez, and his 32-year-old wife, Nereyda, also known as Nereyda Sanchez, are due back in court May 12, when a preliminary hearing is scheduled to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for them to stand trial.

Their son Joshua died on May 30, 2013. Long Beach police responded to the Hyatt Regency Long Beach Hotel that day to investigate a report of an infant not breathing.

A coroner's investigation did not settle the exact circumstances of the boy's death, citing "sudden unexplained infant death" as the cause. However, malnutrition was listed as a significant contributing factor.

The two were arrested in Fresno on March 31 and held in lieu of $1 million bail each.

In addition to the murder count, the husband is charged with one count of disobeying a court-issued restraining order sometime between May 20 and May 30 last year. The specifics of the restraining order and whether it applied to his son are not detailed in the complaint.

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