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San Bernardino father accused of murder, torture appears in court

March 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The father charged with killing his 16-year-old son and torturing his wife and children for hours appeared in San Bernardino Superior Court on Wednesday.

New details are emerging about the alleged torture and what may have sparked it.

Roderiquez's wife has been released from a hospital. The couple's two boys remained hospitalized with blunt-force trauma wounds. The daughters are in foster care.

Shackled and standing next to his public defender, Ian Anthony Roderiquez made his appearance before a San Bernardino Superior Court judge.

Roderiquez, 35, is charged murder, four counts of attempted murder and five counts of torture. He was in court to confirm the appointment of his defense attorney Wednesday.

"Each torture count is a life charge, the attempted murder is a life and the murder is life, so currently he is looking at least six life counts," said San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Bobbie Mann.

An investigator's report details the horrifying 11-hour ordeal in which Roderiquez allegedly beat and stabbed his wife March 22.

His 16-year-old son Richard suffered a broken leg, a fractured skull and was stabbed to death.

The report goes on to say the two girls, ages 10 and 8, were made to walk on broken glass while their brothers were repeatedly beaten with a monkey wrench.

Roderiquez's 13-year-old son told investigators his father's rampage was touched off after he accused them of stealing his drugs.

Since his arrest Roderiquez has been under a 24-hour suicide watch.

"I think the suicide watch is just because the nature of the case," said public defender Celia Torres, Roderiquez's defense attorney. "You have a situation where a person is charged with having killed or hurt members of their family."

A protective order is also in place against Roderiquez to prevent him from contacting his alleged victims.

Meanwhile, the house the family once shared is decorated with candles, flowers and words of comfort from neighbors.

Roderiquez remained in jail Wednesday on $1 million bail.

Torres is considering a mental evaluation.

The district attorney says there are no enhanced charges, meaning the death penalty is not on the table, but that could change.

Roderiquez is scheduled to be in court May 19.