Joe Lopez Legal Team fails to release DNA Results!

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Joe Lopez Legal Team fails to release DNA Results!

On Dec. 11, 2013 a court has ordered the Cameron County District Attorney’s office to turn over DNA evidence to incarcerated Tejano Star Joe Lopez’s attorney within 10 days. The Lopez Team eventually got samples of the victim’s clothing for DNA testing, however have refused to release of the DNA testing performed by the expert(s) they hired….We are now in 2018 and DNA results from testing in 2014 have yet to be released, Why have they not been released?

Jose Manuel Lopez, better known as Joe Lopez, since January has sought the DNA evidence found on a pair of green shorts worn by the then-minor relative he was convicted of crimes against. Lopez’s attorney wants the evidence re-tested by a neutral party.

Lopez, the former lead singer for Grammy-winning Supergrupo Mazz, was convicted in 2006 on two counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of indecency with a child. He was sentenced to serve 32 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of having sexual relations with a 13-year-old relative at his Rancho Viejo condominium in 2004.

After a year-long battle over whether Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz must release the DNA, Judge Federico Hinojosa on Monday ordered Saenz to produce all items Lopez sought in an open-records request, and turn them over to his lawyer, Tim Hootman, 10 days from Monday.

Lopez sought release of the DNA through an open-records request, but Saenz wanted an Attorney General’s ruling on the matter because he was of the opinion that the DNA was protected under the Texas Family Code because a minor was involved in the case. The AG ruled that Saenz’s request was not timely. Hinojosa ruled the evidence could be released under the Texas Family Code, section c, which states that confidential information can be disclosed if the court finds that the information is “essential to the administration of justice” and won’t endanger the life or safety of a child who is the subject of the case.

Saenz said previously that Lopez had access to the DNA evidence during the trial and that he should have sought its release under Chapter 64 of the criminal code.

“It (Chapter 64) sets up the steps and what hoops he has to jump through to have the court satisfied,” Saenz told The Herald in September. “I can’t do it for Joe Lopez because if I make an exception for him, I have to do it for everyone. That’s outside the law. I can’t do that.”

Court records show that Lopez had access to the evidence during the trial, but his defense never called any of its three DNA experts to the stand. Saenz inferred in September that it was because the DNA matched.

Hootman (Lopez Attorney), for his part, has said Lopez’s case lived and died on DNA and with developments in testing procedures that have vindicated scores of convicted people across the United States and in Texas, Lopez should have a chance to have the DNA evidence used to convict him re-tested because Lopez’s original lawyers never tested the DNA evidence.

“His lawyers did not do this. This is a DNA case. It lives and dies on DNA,” Hootman said outside the 445th state District Court in September, adding that Lopez’s defense lawyers never questioned the state’s DNA experts during the trial or asked for a neutral tester.

Published on: Aug 28, 2018 @ 02:17

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