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Dad accused of taking Ala. boy pleads not guilty

Posted: 1:40 PM, Dec 01, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-01 13:40:45-05

A man accused of taking his 5-year-old son from Alabama in 2002 and creating a life for them in Ohio under new identities pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and other charges Tuesday in Cleveland.

Bobby Hernandez was indicted on 32 counts, including charges of forgery, records tampering and interference with custody. A Cuyahoga County judge on Tuesday continued his $250,000 bond, which defense attorney Ralph DeFranco said he would try to get lowered.

RELATED | Attorney: Bobby Hernandez, accused of kidnapping, hiding son for 13 years, 'soft-spoken, gentle man'

Authorities allege Hernandez took his son from the boy's mother's home in the Birmingham area in 2002 and left a note saying so. Hernandez moved to Cleveland and built a new life for himself and his son and began calling himself Jonathan Mangina. The ruse fell apart this fall when discrepancies with the boy's Social Security number were discovered as the 18-year-old began the college application process.

Hernandez, 54, was arrested in early November and was initially held on the $250,000 bond after being charged with tampering with records to obtain an Ohio driver's license.

He and his son have talked on the phone and have seen each other since the arrest, DeFranco said.

DeFranco has said his client knew he'd be found someday, he "just didn't know when."