Mom Accused In Hot Car Death of Baby Remains Behind Bars

4:14 PM, Jul 10, 2013   |    comments
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ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- Thirty-two-year-old Zoraida Conde Hernandez will not be free to see her four other children, for the time being, after leaving her 8-month-old son in a hot car where he later died.

In an Arlington County courtroom, the judge said she will be able to post bond eventually but only after fulfilling certain conditions. 
   
Hernandez's nephew talked with reporters in Spanish.  He says Hernandez is the best mother and her kids come first. Despite the courtroom full of family, friends and co-workers, the judge would not set the Alexandria mother free on bond Wednesday.

The judge says she is concerned about the safety of the mother's other children and Hernandez harming herself. 

The judge says a caseworker must first visit the home, and interview family members who will be watching Hernandez's four other children, out of concern for their safety.  Right now, a grandmother is looking after most of the children.

Once Hernandez is out on bond, the judge says she cannot be with her children unsupervised. 

WUSA9's Surae Chinn talked with a man who identified himself as Hernandez's brother.  He says they'll be helping to take care of the children. "Try the best way we can to support, love, emotionally support, financially support."
 
The Commonwealth says Hernandez quote "left her baby burning to death" when she forgot about her 8-month-old son, Nathan, in the hot car. Police say the boy's mother parked at 200 North Glebe Road, went to work at the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. 

The prosecutor says Hernandez didn't see her son when she got back in to the car 6 hours later nor did she see him when she picked up her 2-year-old daughter at daycare.

According to the prosecutor, she still didn't see her son when she buckled her daughter in the backseat. It was only after her daughter started screaming, that she looked back and saw Nathan's foot.   

The baby's temperature at the hospital was 108 degrees.

Hernandez's defense attorney says her client is distraught.  

Although Hernandez remains in jail, the judge is allowing her to attend her son's funeral, which the family still has to schedule. 
Hernandez must return to jail for another bond hearing set for next Thursday. 

The judge also ordered Hernandez undergo a psychological evaluation. If she meets all the requirements, including a $25,000 bond, Hernandez could be out at her next scheduled hearing July 18th.

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