No decision in Simon Lopez death penalty hearing - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

No decision in Simon Lopez death penalty hearing

Simon Lopez. Photo Source: Smith County Jail. Simon Lopez. Photo Source: Smith County Jail.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Simon Lopez, the man accused of beating his girlfriend's one-year-old son to death was in a Tyler court, Friday.

During the hearing, Judge Russell took up three different motions regarding psychiatric evaluations and expert witnesses. The court decided those motions will be addressed at a December pre-trial, prior to Lopez's scheduled trial in January.

Judge Russell then took up multiple motions regarding the state seeking the death penalty on Lopez.

One of Lopez's defense attorneys said Lopez was expelled from Mexico. The attorney showed Judge Russell paperwork from officials with the Deputy U.S. Marshals Office. He said there was no record of deportation or extradition. The defense attorney said letters showed Lopez was to be obtained and expelled.

"It's pretty clear from the record that there was no deportation or expulsion of Simon Lopez by Mexico authorities,"  said one of Lopez's attorneys.

Lopez's defense attorney said Mexico will not expel, deport or extradite someone whether they are in Mexico legally or illegally, if they are subject to facing the death penalty.

"It is just plain and obvious that agents of the federal government conspired with agents of the state government to bring Simon Lopez to the United States so he could face the death penalty," said Lopez's attorney.

"Is the state allowed to conspire to circumvent the laws of this country," asked Lopez's attorney.

State's attorney [Kent] said it was an internal decision of Mexico to send Lopez back. She said it's up to Mexico to request special assurances if they don't want someone to face the death penalty and Mexico did not do that concerning Lopez.

"The 9th circuit has said that you can't impose special assurances after the fact," said The State.

The attorney for The State told Judge Russell Mexico was aware Lopez was wanted for capital murder. Kent said Lopez was not deported so deportation treaty provisions do not apply. "We are not dealing with an extradition provision and no special assurances were given," she said.

Texas law limits the death penalty to the most serious crimes, The State assured Judge Russell.

In rebuttal, Lopez's attorney said The State was not passive in their manner of having Lopez returned without extradition. He said the state had Lopez brought back the way they did on purpose so they could still seek the death penalty. He said if The State had followed treaty instructions then Lopez would be here but unable to face the death penalty. The attorney added that Lopez had clearly been beaten when he returned to East Texas.

The State said, for the record, she'd like to point out that there was no evidence anyone in the United States abused Lopez and that he had bruises and marks on his face when his flight landed in Houston from Mexico.

Lopez's attorney told Judge Russell The State knew what they were doing to try and get around any treaties or agreements that would hinder them from pursuing the death penalty. He said Mexico would not have sent Lopez back to face the death penalty.

Judge Russell calls a recess on these motions until Thursday, October 18 at 1:30 p.m.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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