Judge sets bail in tampering case involving death of 5-year-old girl left in closet
A Harris County district judge on Monday set bail at $100,000 for Santiago Esparza, a Houston man accused of leaving his girlfriend’s dead 5-year-old daughter in a closet for six days.
Prosecutors argued Esparza’s bail should be set higher than is typical for those charged with tampering with evidence. They said he’s previously been convicted of child abuse, is a known-gang member and poses a flight risk as he’s made comments in the past about fleeing criminal prosecution and going to Mexico.
Esparza may also face more charges after the autopsy on the child is performed, according to prosecutors.
A defense attorney for Esparza asked district Judge George Powell to reduce the bail amount prosecutors recommended.
“Ordinarily, the bond for this charge is set lower,” said Powell. “Considering the risk to the public in this case and the defendant’s flight risk, we will keep the $100,000 bond in place.”
The conditions of Esparza’s bail include having no contact with Priscilla Torres, the child’s mother, no weapons, and no drugs or alcohol. He must also wear a GPS monitor.
During the hearing, Esparza hung his head as he listened to the court proceedings.
Torres is also charged with tampering with evidence.