Illegal immigrant arrested; accused of burning child's lips - FOX10 News | WALA

Illegal immigrant arrested; accused of burning child's lips

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Maria Cortez was arrested under a $10,000 preset bond and the boy was released into the custody of his father. Photo: BCSO Maria Cortez was arrested under a $10,000 preset bond and the boy was released into the custody of his father. Photo: BCSO
FOLEY, AL (WALA) -

A mother accused of burning her child on the lips as a form of discipline has had her bond increased.  A phone call made by Fox 10 News to the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office may have prevented the illegal immigrant from Mexico from already being out of jail.

When asked what time the bond hearings would be on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, the DAs office told Fox 10 News that Maria Cortes of Mexico was in the process of bonding out of jail.  When asked why she was being allowed to bond out because there should have been an Immigrations hold on her through ICE, they checked into it and stopped the bonding process.

Foley Police investigators said 26 year old Maria Cortes heated up a spoon on her stove and burned her six year old son because of lying to her about disciplinary problems at school.  Police were alerted after concerned citizens notified the child's school of suspected abuse. When the boy didn't show up at school Monday morning, the school called police.

“When we got over there and started looking into the incident, we realized that the child did in fact have some burn marks on his lips…third degree burns so quite severe in nature,” explained Foley Assistant Police Chief, Thurston Bullock.  “That alone was enough to get us to thinking that something criminal had happened.”

Police and DHR investigators interviewed the mother and child Monday and determined that Cortes is in the United States illegally. Cortez was arrested under a $10,000 preset bond and the boy was released into the custody of his father.  Fox 10 News then learned that Cortes was about to bond out prior to her scheduled bond hearing.  After alerting the District Attorney's Office of her immigration status, a hold was put on her until after a bond hearing could be held this afternoon.  As to what authority she’ll answer to first…

“We’ll have the first prosecution say so,” said Assistant DA, Matt Simpson.  “They’ll keep the hold on her to monitor the court system, to monitor what’s going on with these charges and see what the final resolution of the case would be, but we have her in jail at this point for our offenses.”

Bond was increased to $100,000 and a hold by ICE was placed on Cortes this afternoon.  The boy received medical treatment and has been released into the custody of his father by DHR.  Cortes will have until October 10, 2017 to request a preliminary hearing.  
 

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