By Abbey Niezgoda
A man accused of killing his girlfriend's 6-year-old son was denied bail Wednesday, even after a judge tossed out most of the evidence against him.
Michael Patino is still awaiting trial for the murder of Marco Nieves. Police say he beat the child to death.
"Of course he's a murderer," Susan Tayasco, a family friend said. "He punched him in the stomach. He killed him. He killed him."
Patino's trial was put on hold because a judge ruled that all of the text messages the state used to prove their case against him were obtained illegally. The request for bail came soon after.
The defense argued that Patino's trial has been delayed time and time again, violating his right to a speedy trial, so he deserves to walk out of jail.
Prosecutors are appealing the decision to toss the text messages, in which Patino admits to punching the child. The judge denied bail, pending the fate of that appeal.
"I'm glad that there's no bail," Tayasco said. "I just hope there's justice towards the end for everything that he did."
However, the legal battles are far from over for the friends and family of Marco Nieves.
"We're hoping that a single judgment of the supreme court will determine bail to be set."
As the back and forth continues, a prisoner remains in limbo, and somewhere in the middle is justice for the child.
"It was Marco smiling when she came out to that courtroom and gave that decision," Tayasco said. "That was a great feeling."
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