SALINAS, Calif- The man accused of taking off with his girlfriend after two bodies were found inside her home in San Ardo was finally in court Tuesday afternoon. Juan Salazar Jr. was not in court on charges for the double murder but he was there to face one count of child concealment.
The charges stem from an Amber Alert that was issued after he was accused of fleeing to Mexico with 16-year-old Eunice Serrato.
Serrato was in court to support Salazar and his attorney said she went willingly with him when they left San Ardo in July.
One of the elements of child concealment is that Salazar had to have done something maliciously; in this case, that would be bringing harm to Serrato or holding her against her will.
His attorney argued there was never any effort to conceal her, or to keep her from calling her parents.
The Monterey County District Attorney's office said Salazar already took off once, bringing the girl to Mexico, and prosecutors said it makes sense he would take off if he did play a part in the murder of the two men found in Seratto's home.
"I believe these charges are purely trumped up," said Eugene Martinez, Salazar's attorney. "There's no legal basis for them. The prosecution knows it, the Sheriff's Office knows it. They're just having difficulty trying to figure out what happened."
Salazar's bail is still set at $100,000, something his attorney was fighting and something the D.A.'s office said isn't adequate and should be higher.
Martinez said he's confident the judge will discharge his client from these charges come his preliminary hearing on Sept. 6.
Central Coast News asked Martinez if Salazar had any involvement with the death of the two men found in the San Ardo home and he said: "What happened in that house will come out in the future."
The D.A.'s office is still looking into the evidence to decide whether it will press murder charges.
Wednesday, June 5 2013 5:40 PM EDT2013-06-05 21:40:27 GMT
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