Death penalty possible for accused child-killer, Simon Lopez - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Death penalty possible for accused child-killer, Simon Lopez

Simon Lopez. (Source: Smith County Jail) Simon Lopez. (Source: Smith County Jail)
Emma Torres. (Source: Smith County Jail) Emma Torres. (Source: Smith County Jail)
Baby Jeremy Silva. Baby Jeremy Silva.
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

Simon Lopez, the man accused of beating his girlfriend's one-year-old son to death, could face the death penalty if he is convicted.

Lopez was in Smith County 7th District Court on Thursday, where Judge Kerry Russell denied a motion by Lopez' defense attorney to avoid the death penalty.

Judge Russell cited the ruling in Judge v. Canada, as part of his decision to allow the death penalty, if Lopez is convicted.

Judge Russell took up several other motions Thursday, including one which will allow photos from one-year-old Jeremy Silva's autopsy to be presented to a jury.

It was also revealed that the state's list of potential witnesses in this case includes 560 names.

Judge Russell ruled recordings of jail phone calls, made by Lopez to codefendant Emma Torres, be turned over to Lopez' defense attorneys.

Defense attorney, Rick Hagan, also notified the Judge that he may file a motion for a change of venue.

"We are actively researching to let you know if we want to file for a change of venue," said Hagan.

Judge Russell also said Thursday that he may have to recuse himself from this case, because his wife Randi Russell, is a civil chief and responded on behalf of the U.S. Attorney's Office in this case.

Lopez' next hearing is set for November 16, at 10 a.m. Lopez has until that date to enter a plea.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All right reserved.

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