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Teen parents charged with homicide in infant's death

Teen parents charged with homicide in infant's death

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Two teen parents are facing homicide charges in the death of their infant.

Samantha May Hance, 19, and Gilbert Raymond Ortiz, 16, pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide in Yellowstone County District Court on Friday.

In both cases, Judge Ashley Harada continued bail at $500,000, after arrest warrants were issued in that amount. The defense could argue for a reduction at a later date.

The eight-week-old infant died March 27.

Because Ortiz is a juvenile, the case will require a hearing to decide whether it should be transferred to youth court. The hearing can be waived.

Ortiz is being held at the Youth Services Center, and Hance is being held at the county jail. 

An autopsy showed broken ribs, collar bone and arms, according to charges. The medical examiner determined the baby died from neglect.

Both Ortiz and Hance told investigators they were unaware of any physical abuse of the baby, but Hance did acknowledge she’d seen her boyfriend treat their baby roughly, charges state. When asked about the broken bones, she allegedly said that if she had to guess, she would attribute the fractures to Ortiz. 

Ortiz denied neglecting or abusing the baby in an interview with detectives. 

Investigators reviewed text messages between the parents in which Ortiz apologized for taking out his anger on Hance and the baby, and Hance warned him to be less aggressive with the baby.

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