OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Carlos Socrates Rodriguez has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of child-abuse homicide in the fire death of his 3-year-old son, who had been left unattended in their apartment.
Second District Judge Parley Baldwin handed down the ruling Wednesday following a preliminary hearing.
Baldwin rejected a defense motion for the charge to be reduced to negligent homicide and also ordered that Rodriguez be held without bail.
Rodriguez, 23, admitted he left the boy alone in the Ogden apartment at about 9:45 p.m. on April 22, according to testimony on Tuesday. He left to try to patch things up with an estranged girlfriend who had moved out four days earlier.
Fire was reported at 10:07 p.m., and the body of Eduardo Rodriguez -- called Lalo -- was found in a bedroom. The cause of death was determined to be smoke inhalation.
The fire, of unknown cause, started in the living room and most of the damage was in the living room-kitchen area, officials said.
Defense attorneys unsuccessfully argued for bail, saying that while Rodriguez is an illegal immigrant currently subject to a federal hold, his father and cousin are citizens, his whole family is in the United States and he has a visa application pending,
Baldwin declined, saying, "He is a flight risk because of the charges and his immigration status."
Rodriguez has a prior conviction for domestic violence assault.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)