Father, stepfather rush homicide defendant

March 7, 2012 at 3:36 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 7 (UPI) -- The father and stepfather of a homicide victim pleaded innocent to disrupting court in Springfield, Mass., during the case of a man accused in the killing.

Edwin Rojas, the father of victim Jessica Rojas, and stepfather Kenneth Soto allegedly rushed defendant Jose Santiago when he was brought into the courtroom Monday afternoon, The (Springfield) Republican reported.

Rojas also pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery on a public employee.

The newspaper said the two are accused of rushing toward Santiago when he was brought into the courtroom for arraignment. Santiago was pulled from the courtroom by court employees.

Both Rojas and Soto were released after posting $500 bond apiece, but prosecutors said the money would be returned and they would be free on their own recognizance. Both were set to be back in court April 10.

Police said Jessica Rojas, a single mother of four, was fatally stabbed early Saturday at her home by boyfriend Santiago in front of several witnesses.

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