Fresno Police officers describe what they saw after Gage Hurtado allegedly strangled one-year-old boy

Friday, June 21, 2019
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Gage Hurtado cried in court, while officers described what they saw after he allegedly strangled his girlfriend's one-year-old boy.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Gage Hurtado cried in court Thursday, while officers described what they saw in the minutes after he allegedly strangling his girlfriend's one-year-old boy.

Hurtado is facing murder charges for the death of young Julius Lopez on September 20, 2017.

The toddler's mother took the stand Thursday to describe the scene at the Calwa apartment where the baby was pronounced dead.

RELATED: Murder charges filed against Calwa man accused of killing a toddler

"They would play together; he was good with him because he had his own kids," said Nicole Lopez.

Gage Hurtado was the one who called 9-1-1 that day.

Fresno Police officers testified he was frantic when they got there, but he was warning them of his girlfriend, saying she was the violent one.

RELATED: Fresno man accused of killing a Calwa toddler pleaded not guilty

Through several tearful breakdowns, Lopez described the boyfriend who she thought was good with her son until September 20, 2017. That was the day their nine-month relationship ended, and her son lost his life.

"I don't know the specifics, but I know I don't have my son."

Lopez testified she met Hurtado on the dating app Tinder, two months later they moved in together.

The day Julius died, Lopez said she woke up and was getting ready for school when Hurtado went outside to use her cellphone. Minutes later, Fresno Police showed up.

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Officer Joel Santos was the first to show up and open the child's bedroom door. Santos said, "I went in and felt the baby. The baby felt cold to the touch."

Officer Scott Gray said Lopez was being kept outside the apartment and seemed bewildered, "She was confused as to why we were there and why her son was not out there."

Another Fresno Police officer interviewed Hurtado at the scene and was told he went in to wake up the toddler that morning, but something happened in the process.

"He stated that Nicole jumped in front of him and began strangling the child," said officer Roman Aguiniga.

She denies hurting her son at all.

The officer who performed CPR on the little boy said he noticed visible marks around his neck. An autopsy showed the child died from blunt force trauma.

Hurtado is facing one count of murder and could spend 15 years to life in prison.