A family that stays together, murders together? Seems so, at least based on the charges against three members of the Hurtado family the grand jury accuses of murdering a fourth, 23-month-old Dartanian Hurtado.
Dartanian's mother Noel Lynn Hurtado, uncle Timothy Seymour Hurtado and aunt Ilene Irene Hurtado of Anaheim were originally arraigned on charges of murder and assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death in December 2010.
They were scheduled to be arraigned again today as the grand jury last week handed down indictments alleging the same counts, a procedural step that eliminates the need for a preliminary hearing in the case.
Dartanian's mother and Aunt Ilene took the toddler to Anaheim Memorial Hospital on Aug. 16, 2007, but he was already dead when doctors examined the boy. It was later determined he died due to brain swelling caused by chronic injury to the head.
In other words, he had been consistently beat in the head for most of his short life, according to authorities.
An Anaheim Police investigation into the baby's death resulted in Noel and Timothy Hurtado's arrests in November 2010, followed by Ilene Hurtado being booked a month later.
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Timothy was only 16 at the time, but when the Orange County District Attorney's office filed the counts, prosecutors revealed he would be tried as an adult. He's now 21, while Noel is 27 and Ilene is 28.
Held in lieu of $1 million bail each, the Hurtados face maximum sentences of 25 to 28 years to life in state prison with convictions.