El Paso

Appeals Court to decide if Lindsey Hradek will stand trial again

Lindsey Hradek case

EL PASO, Texas - An appeals court will soon decide if the mother convicted in connection with the death of her son in 2012 will stand trial again.

Oral arguments were held Thursday before the case was submitted for review by the 8th Court of Appeals.

Hradek's two-month old son, Colton Soto, was found dead, strapped to a carseat upside down and covered with pillows in 2012. Hradek was convicted of reckless injury to a child in August of 2015 and was sentenced to 13 years in prison and a $7,500 fine.

Since then, it's been a legal back-and-forth between Hradek's defense attorney and state prosecutors.

Hradek filed a motion for a new trial shortly after her conviction. In November of 2015, she was granted a new trial. State prosecutors then filed an appeal.

Hradek was released from prison after being granted a new trial, but she was arrested in December of 2015 for allegedly violating the terms of her bond. Her defense attorney, Ruben Morales, took over the case before the motion for a new trial was filed.  

After nearly two years of delay, both sides presented oral arguments to a panel of judges Thursday.

Morales pointed out several mistakes made by Hradek's previous defense attorneys during the trial. He argued the counsel allowed evidence which should have been inadmissible which could've potentially impacted the case. Among several errors, he argued the attorneys failed to interview witnesses before trial and failed to screen a 43 minute phone call between Hradek and her mother that was played during the trial, "eliciting an avalanche of inadmissible evidence against their own client."

 

State prosecutor Tom Darnold admitted the attorneys should not have allowed evidence they didn't know about, but told the judges those errors didn't cause any prejudice. He argued the trial court shouldn't have granted a new trial on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel.

 

Hradek was not in the courtroom Thursday. Morales tells ABC-7 she is out on bond.

There is no clear timeframe as to when the court will come down with a decision. If the court decides the new trial is reversed, then the original conviction will be reinstated.


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