ENID, Okla. — A judge denied bond for a man charged last year with murder and conspiracy related to a fatal home invasion on West Vine.
Special District Judge Brian Lovell ordered Michael Anthony Huerta to be held without bond following a hearing Monday.
Huerta was charged Sept. 23, 2019, with the two felonies in connection to the death of Diana Aide Baez. Huerta appeared with his attorney Albert Hoch to hear the state'e motion to deny bond in the case. Assistant District Attorney Sean Hill appeared with Enid Police Department Detective Tanner Austin.
Hill argued Huerta, with prior felony convictions in California and facing a sentence of life, life without prison or death, met two of the standards for denying bond. He said those reasons "certainly gives him reason" to flee the jurisdiction of the court.
Hill also said police have interviewed a man, since the affidavit was filed, who places Huerta with two of the other co-defendants in the case.
Hoch reminded the court the purpose of bond was to ensure a defendant's appearance in court. Hoch also said the case was taking longer than normal, with the preliminary hearing set six months out from today's date.
"He has a finance in town," Hoch told the judge. "He's not going to go anywhere."
Hoch suggested a bond of $50,000 to $100,000 would ensure Huerta would return to court. He also said an ankle monitor could be a condition of the bond, as well as having no contact with the co-defendants in the case.
Lovell said he would approve the state's request to deny bond in the case.
"In this case, I think the factors all weigh favorably in the state's case," he said. Lovell told Huerta he would set a bond if he wanted, but the figure would be 11 figures, or $10 million or more.
Lovell told the defense if there was a need for an appearance, he would set them at their request.
A five-page affidavit filed in the case states the attack on Baez was orchestrated by Eva Meraz-Corral, who also was charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy.
Meraz-Corral told EPD detectives she was responsible for the attack on Baez, according to the affidavit. She said Baez began dating a man she had been involved with previously.
Meraz-Corral said she contacted someone in Mexico in reference to Baez and was told to contact Leoncio “Leo” Hernandez, according to the affidavit. Meraz-Corral said she spoke with Hernandez at his residence, 1733 Meadowbrook, and told him she did not want Baez "to be pretty anymore." Meraz-Corral said she did not want Baez to be with her ex-boyfriend anymore. She said if Hernandez took care of her request, she would make arrangements to put him contact with a man who had an unpaid debt of $40,000.
When detectives interviewed Hernandez, he said Meraz-Corral approached him saying she did not want Baez to be pretty anymore, according to the affidavit. Hernandez said he spoke with two people in Mexico, including the one Meraz-Corral spoke with, and passed along her request to Luis Macias and Cory Sanchez, both also charged in the case.
In the early morning hours of Sept. 11, 2019, Baez was beaten and stabbed in her home in the 400 block of West Vine while her three children, ages 5, 9 and 11, were home, according to the affidavit.
In a forensic interview, the 5-year-old said she was awakened by the back door being opened. She said two Hispanic males came into the bedroom and began hitting Baez with a "golf stick," according to the affidavit. The girl also said she screamed and one of the men covered her mouth while the other continued to hit her mother. The girl said one of the men was wearing blue shoes and the other was wearing black shoes.
Baez was pronounced brain dead on Sept. 13, 2019, but was kept on a ventilator so her organs could be harvested, according to the affidavit. On Sept. 14, 2019, when the harvest was complete Baez was pronounced dead. Enid police received tips stating Macias and Hernandez were involved in Baez' death.
On Sept. 13, 2019, police made a traffic stop on a black GMC Sierra seen leaving Hernandez's residence, according to the affidavit. Inside the vehicle were Miguel Perez and Huerta.
On Sept. 18, 2019, police interviewed a woman who said three people were responsible for the attack on Baez.
The woman said Macias, Huerta and Sanchez returned to 359 E. Birch with their clothes covered in blood, according to the affidavit. She said she was at the residence and saw this. She said the three discarded their clothing into a bag.
The bag was found when police executed a search warrant at 359 E. Birch, according to the affidavit. Also located with the clothing was a knife, a pipe with a flashlight on the end of it, a red mask, a black mask and a notepad that appeared to be a checklist of the items that were located inside the home.