Melissa Lucio's case heads to Court of Criminal Appeals, could overturn death sentence

1 month 2 days 19 hours ago Tuesday, April 16 2024 Apr 16, 2024 April 16, 2024 6:19 PM April 16, 2024 in News - Local

Melissa Lucio is the Harlingen mom who remains on death row even though the Cameron County District Attorney has recommended otherwise.

The recommendation from the district judge comes after the Cameron County DA's office admitted that prosecutors withheld evidence from Lucio's defense team.

RELATED STORY: Brownsville judge recommends court overturn rulings in Melissa Lucio conviction

The current district attorney was not in office at that time.

Lucio, who has maintained her innocence, says her daughter, Mariah, died after a fall down the stairs. Prosecutors argued the death was because of a beating.

Some of the evidence listed in recent court filings that may have been withheld include firsthand statements from witnesses about Mariah's fall and her deteriorating condition in the days that followed.

If the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals sides with the district judge's recommendation, several things can happen.

The state can choose to retry her on the same charge, or she can be tried on a different charge. Legal experts believe there is only one path forward.

"I don't see any reason why they wouldn't agree with the judge. I think she will at least be out from under the death sentence," South Texas of College of Law Houston Professor Kenneth Williams said.

If the state does not decide to retry her, she could be released from jail.

The Cameron County DA was unavailable for comment on if they believe they should prosecute her again.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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