FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --The alleged mastermind of a plot to kidnap and torture a 13-year-old girl says she's not guilty, but she's not getting out of jail any time soon.
Sandra Garcia's life unraveled in February, but she spent four months waiting for the other shoe to drop.
It's on the floor now and our cameras pointed that way as she made her first court appearance. We weren't allowed to show her face or her son's as they pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, torture and conspiracy.
Fresno County sheriff's investigators say Garcia plotted to have her boyfriend's 13-year-old daughter taken from home, beaten and abandoned.
The idea was to get her and her sister to move to Sweden with their mother, helping Garcia stay in the lap of luxury without the distraction of children.
But defense attorneys tried to minimize the crimes and get bail lowered.
"Even going through this and speaking to the detective when she got arrested the first time, there was never any ransom asked for," said Mario DiSalvo, who represents Garcia.
"There appears to be very little evidence as to torture," said her son's attorney, John Garcia.
Sandra Garcia's criminal history amounts to a single DUI four years ago. Her son, Mark Anthony Roque, has none.
But prosecutor Dennis Verzosa argued this case alone was serious enough to set bail at $500,000. He said the victim's father worried about what they'd do if they got out.
"What he's concerned with is his family's safety and I think that is a very legitimate concern," Verzosa said.
Deputies arrested Garcia and her son once before, in March, and they stayed in town after they were released. But when new warrants went out for their arrest, investigators had to track them down in Hanford.
And the judge didn't hear anything that convinced him to make it easier for them to get out again.
"Assuming these allegations are true, there is no way in the world that this court would either release you or reduce bail in this case," said Judge Alvin Harrell III.
Garcia's cousin, Miguel Carriedo, is facing the same charges, but detectives haven't been able to find him since his release in March. Garcia and Roque face life in prison if they're convicted.