Child sexual assault conviction overturned for Amarillo man

Ernest Lopez
Ernest Lopez

Amarillo, TX - An Amarillo man convicted of aggravated sexual assault may soon get a new trial.

Ernest Lopez was convicted for sexual assault of a child after six-month-old Isis Charm Vas was killed in October of 2000.

Now, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned his 2003 conviction, saying Lopez' defense was not sufficient because they did not present medical experts during the original trial.

47th District Attorney Randall Sims says for now the case is technically on hold until the mandate has been in place for twenty-five days so it is unsure when a re-trial could happen.

"Where the case is, it is the same place any other case would be right after it has been indicted by a grand jury. It will be on a trial docket, obviously I would assume since it is going to be an old case, it will get bubbled to the top pretty quickly and we will handle it in a normal course of business," said Sims.

We spoke with Lopez' defense attorney Bill McKinney and he says they are pleased with the reversal, because, quote, it is a case with a lot of evidence that needs to get a fresh look.