Man accused of killing 4-year-old boy to be held pending trial | KOB 4

Man accused of killing 4-year-old boy to be held pending trial

Ryan Laughlin
Updated: February 24, 2020 05:53 PM
Created: February 24, 2020 04:48 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A man accused of killing a four-year-old boy was never supposed to be alone with the child, according to prosecutors.

Zerrick Marquez appeared in court Monday. He’s charged with the death of James Dunklee Cruz.


In court, it was revealed that CYFD was trying to protect the child. Part of the plan said that Marquez should not have contact with James.

However, police said Marquez was left alone with James when the boy suffered fatal injuries.

Court documents show Marquez claimed he fell onto the boy— kneeing him in the chest.

But the judge pointed out that doctors say the long list of injuries suffered by James were inconsistent with Marquez's story. Police also said Marquez had a bruised and swollen hand. He first told police that he got hurt in a fight at work. He later said he punched a car when he learned James had died.

Judge Daniel Ramczyk said Marquez's changing stories - and evidence of an anger problem was enough to show he's dangerous. He ordered Marquez to be held pending trial.

CYFD released the following statement following questions about this case:

CYFD tries to maintain as much contact as possible with a biological parent after they agree to a safety plan with regular, scheduled and unscheduled check-ins. We work with our own investigators and law enforcement partners if we cannot find someone or they are not following a plan.

Any safety plan is a formal agreement between the parent and CYFD, which must be followed. If a parent is unable or unwilling to follow a safety plan, we reassess and look at whether additional support may be necessary or when it’s in the best interest of the child, removal of the child. - Charlie Moore-Pabst, CYFD deputy public information officer

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