BISBEE – A Texas couple entered guilty pleas Monday for their part in a conspiracy to forge the birth certificate of a newborn Sierra Vista boy they intended to raise after his mother said she didn’t want the baby.
Alex Hernandez pleaded guilty to committing forgery for signing the birth certificate as the boy’s father along with Marina Garcia, the baby’s mother.
His wife, Leslie Morin Hernandez, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit forgery.
They had also been facing kidnap and fraud charges as it was assumed Garcia’s estranged husband was the father, but he is not. Those charges were dismissed by Cochise County Superior Court (Div. II) Judge John Kelliher during the plea hearing.
Kelliher allowed the couple to return to Texas until sentencing, which won’t occur until the criminal case Garcia is resolved. They are eligible for probation although the judge has discretion to sentence them to one year in prison.
Ivan Abrams, the attorney for the Texas pair, told the court Garcia contacted Leslie Hernandez, a longtime friend, to say she was pregnant and didn’t want to keep the baby.
The couple traveled to Cochise County for the Feb. 2 birth and were heading back with the newborn Feb. 5 when they were stopped for speeding. They later admitted to not being related to the baby even though Alex Hernandez had signed the birth certificate.
Garcia, who still faces charges of kidnap, fraud and forgery, will be back in court April 16. On Monday she was released from jail under the supervision of her boyfriend, who is a member of the U.S. Army. He is not the baby’s father.
No further information about the baby’s status has been revealed.