WOODLAND, Calif. (KTXL) -- The man accused of killing five of his infant children was formally charged with murder in a Yolo County court Tuesday.
Paul Allen Perez, through his public defender, pleaded not guilty to nine felony counts including committing multiple murders.
No sound recording was allowed in the courtroom as 57-year-old Paul Allen Perez spoke to a court-appointed public defender.
Perez expressed little emotion as nine criminal counts were read by Judge Peter Williams, among them five counts of murder, and allegations of lying in wait and torture for each of them.
Investigators said DNA evidence showed Perez was the father of a 1-month-old infant boy whose remains were found in a box in an irrigation slough outside Woodland in 2007.
Investigators said the boy was killed ten years before and that four other siblings, all under 6-months-old, were also murdered over the span of 11 years.
A childhood cousin of the Perez told FOX40 she felt compelled to attend the court proceeding but wished to protect her identity.
“I wouldn’t want to see anybody’s child have to go through something like that, it sounds horrendous to me," said the cousin.
The cousin said she hasn't seen Perez in years but told FOX40 he had two wives and several grown children including a daughter in her thirties. But she said she wasn’t aware of his younger children.
“He was a good kid, a good guy, he never got into trouble in school or anything like that so I have no idea what’s happening to him since then," said the cousin.
Perez pleaded not guilty to all charges.
“I met him for the first time today, we don’t have any police reports, we don’t have any discovery yet so that’ll be the next step in this case," said Public Defender Tracie Olson.
Olson asked questions that prosecutors and investigators refused to answer during a press conference yesterday.
“Where’s the mom in this? What was her role? Why is my client here? And perhaps the evidence points more to her than to him, I just don’t know that," said Olson.
Perez's cousin said the crimes are hard to comprehend if he’s guilty.
“Evil, sick. Who would do such a thing and be able to walk around and continue doing it?" said the cousin.
Perez's cousin said she was questioned by investigators as well. A preliminary hearing date has been set for two weeks from Tuesday.