Noemi Quezada's emotional plea for justice was echoed by other family members and a friend who attended the court proceedings.

For the 35 minutes that it took court officials to read the lengthy list of charges, which were translated into Spanish for the benefit of the non-English-speaking suspects, the family sat stiffly, arms crossed, some of them crying and shaking their heads at times.

Meanwhile, the suspects stared forward with nearly blank expressions. The men did not speak when Glynn asked how they pleaded, allowing their attorneys to say "not guilty" on their behalf.

Perez and Canela only nodded when Glynn asked whether they understood the maximum penalty for the charges - death, if they are found guilty.

Before the proceedings, the men sat uncomfortably in chairs, hands cuffed and ankle chains hanging around their jeans. Perez, wearing a blue-and-pink striped polo shirt, with his hair tied in a ponytail, bounced his knee up and down as he waited. Canela wore a white T-shirt and black jeans and sat almost completely still.

On a handful of occasions, they whispered to each other. They also periodically locked eyes with family members, but only for a few seconds.

Both men have been held in jail without bail since their arrests.

"We have these people in jail for no reason," said Jorge Zapata, who identified himself as a family friend and attended the arraignment. "This is bad. These are nice people. All they do is come here to this country to work. Their kids go to school. And never, once, did they have one single problem here."

After the arraignment, the family of the victims spoke to their attorneys, who encouraged them to stay optimistic.

"I don't think in all honesty that police know who did it," said James Rhodes, Canela's attorney.

The family also met with prosecutors. Afterward, Noemi Quezada said what was discussed was "personal."

"They are stunned that their relatives are being charged with this crime," said Dixon. "First they end up suffering the death of their children. They come here only to have a better life, and now they have to watch their family members stand trial for killing their children."