GIST: "The Cameron County District Attorney’s Office has yet to decide if it will seek the death penalty again against Manuel Velez, who spent nearly four years on death row before a higher court threw out his capital murder conviction and sentence.Velez, of Brownsville, had been on death row before the 13th Court of Appeals tossed out his death sentence in June 2012 after ruling that a state witness presented false testimony during the sentenced.The Brownsville man had been jailed since October 2005 and was convicted in 2008 of killing his then-girlfriend’s 1-year-old child, Angel Gabriel Moreno.........Velez’s then-girlfriend, Acela Moreno, who was initially arrested with Velez and charged with capital murder, reached a plea deal with the state and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on a charge of injury to a child.She escaped the capital murder charge in exchange for her testimony.Acela Moreno was released and deported to Mexico after serving five years of her sentence. Assistant District Attorney Ismael Hinojosa said last December that he knows where the woman is and intends to call her to the witness stand during Velez’s trial. Velez’s appellate attorneys have alleged that Velez was in Tennessee when Angel Gabriel Moreno received head injuries that resulted in the child’s death and that Velez’s original lawyers didn’t offer evidence that Acela Moreno had been suspected of abusing her children, as well as failing to fully investigate medical evidence that allegedly disputed the DA’s timeline of when the child received the fatal injuries.Last November, Cornejo-Lopez set bail at $500,000, issued by pre-trial release, which requires a 3-percent of the bail, $15,000, for Velez to bond out. Velez is still in Cameron County jail as his family has been unable to raise the money."
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