Judge to rule next week if Tyler man will face death

TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Judge Kerry Russell will decide next week if a Tyler man will face the death penalty when his capital murder case goes to trial in February.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys argued this morning, with prosecutors saying Simon Lopez, 28, was expelled and not extradited from Mexico in July 2011 and Lopez is therefore subject to the death penalty. The defense contended Lopez should have had a hearing in Mexico and he was extradited by the U.S.
Mexico will not extradite anyone to the U.S. who will be executed.

Lopez, 28, is charged with capital murder in the death of Emma Torres' 18-month-old son, Jeremy Silva, which occurred in July 2010. Lopez was babysitting Silva and another child while their mother, Emma Torres, who was his girlfriend, was at work, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. He reportedly contacted the boy's aunt and told her he was not breathing. Silva was dropped off with the aunt and then taken to the emergency room, where he was pronounced dead, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

U.S. Marshals arrested Lopez in Mexico in July 2011. Autopsy reports showed the baby died from heart damage resulting from blunt force trauma to the chest, according to information from police. The Lopez trial is set for February 2013 in the Smith County 7th District Court and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the defendant. Lopez is being held in the Smith County Jail on bonds totaling $3 million.

Doctors also noticed other signs of abuse, including strangulation, broken ribs and severe bruising, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

There is a restrictive and protective order in place on the Lopez case, which means there can be no comment outside of the courtroom.


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