Third trial on tap for men charged in '04 killing of 3 children
Policarpio Espinoza Perez, 29, and Adan Espinoza Canela, 24, also again pleaded not guilty Thursday. They have been held in custody since their arrests seven years ago, and are now scheduled to be tried again Nov. 10 in Baltimore Circuit Court.
The first trial ended in a hung jury, and the second resulted in convictions that were later overturned because of a judge's error.
"I take it, since this is the third arraignment, that the defendant's have been advised of the elements of the offenses?" Judge Stuart R. Berger asked the attorneys Thursday, who agreed that was the case.
The men are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder and conspiracy in connection with the deaths of three elementary school-age children: siblings Ricardo and Lucero Espinoza, ages 9 and 8, respectively, and their cousin, Alexis Espejo Quozada, 10.
The children were beaten and had their throats cut so deeply they were nearly decapitated in their Fallstaff home on May 27, 2004. Perez, their uncle, and Canela, their cousin, were arrested and charged with the killings a day later.