Man pleads not guilty after being charged for first-degree murder of mother of his children

A man accused of killing the mother of his three children pleaded not guilty in court on Thursday.
Cesar Santana, 37, was charged with first-degree murder in connection to the death of 33-year-old Luz Hernandez. On Feb. 7, Hernandez’s body was found in a shallow grave in Kearny.
Santana's attorney, Edward Bilinkas told News 12 they are fighting all the charges, which also include hindering, failing to dispose of human remains and tampering with physical evidence.
“Again, based on what I see and my discussions with him, that's our position with him and I feel comfortable with that,” he said.
Bilinkas added his team is waiting on all the discovery from the prosecutors for them to continue building their defense. When Hernandez’s body was found, and autopsy revealed the 33-year-old had been strangled and suffered blunt force head trauma.
"We haven't seen everything yet, once we do that, we will address whatever is out there,” he acknowledged.
Hernandez's family says won't accept a not guilty plea from Hernandez.
A second man identified as 26-year-old Leinier Miranda Lopez remains at large in connection to Hernandez’s death. He also faces the same charges including first-degree murder.
Santana is expected to be back in court on Sep. 11.