Toddler murder case prompts showdown outside Fresno court

FRESNO, Calif. -- A toddler murder case prompted a loud courthouse showdown Monday, but the case is stuck in limbo for now.

Gage Hurtado faced murder charges for the first time, but he postponed entering a plea for a couple weeks while he tries to hire his own attorney. But as soon as he was done, things got heated in the hallway.

There were two sides with two agendas meeting at one showdown. On Monday, Gage Hurtado stood to face charges he murdered a toddler.

On one side sat a man supporting him and peddling accusations aimed at the child's mother instead. On the other side, a great uncle to Julius Lopez couldn't believe what he overheard.

"Anger, frustration," Juan Bautista told Hurtado. "You know what you did. Man up. Be a man about it. Don't be hiding behind anybody."

Bautista had a strong reaction to seeing Hurtado and hearing someone speak on his behalf. But he told Action News Anchor Corin Hoggard, Hurtado looked scared and alone as he tried to pass the buck for what happened to one-year-old Julius.

The boy died from blunt force trauma last week, and since then, every day seems to deliver his family new pain.

"Nikki's devastated," he said. "We're just hurt, saddened by what had happened and what's coming out in the details of this story. How can someone hurt a child?"

Hurtado's now supposed to enter a plea in October.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.