Mom charged with lying during murder trial; child abuse

Posted at 2:50 PM, Jan 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-29 14:50:38-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A mother from Gaines Township was officially charged Monday with perjury in a murder trial where her own child was the victim.

Sonja Hernandez, 29, faces up to life in prison for lying under oath in the trial of her boyfriend at the time, Elis Ortiz-Nieves, who was convicted in December in the murder of her four-year-old son, Giovanni Meijas, in the couple's home.  Perjury in a capital trial carries a maximum penalty of life.

Ortiz-Nieves and his family maintain his innocence and says he woke up in the home to find Meijas unconscious and tried to revive him.  Six other children were also in the home at the time.  Ortiz-Nieves was sentenced earlier this month to life in prison without parole.

Hernandez is also charged with two counts of child abuse.  According to court documents, two children told Child Protective Services investigators Hernandez abused them, and she didn't protect them from "ongoing severe violence committed by Elis Ortiz-Nieves."  Records also state Hernandez blamed one of the children for their brother Meijas' murder.

Investigators believe that Hernandez lied under oath during Ortiz-Nieves' murder trial in regards to domestic violence incidences in the home prior to her son's murder.

Hernandez is being held on $100,000 bond. She is due in court Feb. 6 for a probable cause conference.