orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

January 4, 2013

Man pleads guilty to lesser charge in infant death

AMARILLO, Texas — A man whose conviction of aggravated sexual assault of a child was overturned on appeal last year has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

Potter County District Attorney Randall Sims said Friday that Ernest G. Lopez II pleaded guilty to recklessly causing serious bodily injury to 6-month-old Isis Charm Vas in October 2000. Vas died a day after she suffered injuries while in Lopez's care.

Sims says the plea came in a deal with prosecutors in return for a nine-year prison sentence. He says the 41-year-old Lopez gets credit for time served.

Authorities said he sexually assaulted and shook the girl, leading to his conviction and a 60-year sentence. A Texas appeals court overturned the conviction, finding he had "deficient" counsel.

Lopez's attorney, Bill McKinney, declined to comment.

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