Valley man still listed as "Death Row Inmate" after sentence overturned

Manuel Velez in December 2012

A Brownsville man's name remains listed on a state website for Death Row inmates almost a year after a court overturned his death sentence.

Manuel Velez remains listed as a Death Row inmate on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) website more than 10 months after the judge TMs decision.

Although the website has been updated since the judge TMs December 2012 decision, Velez TMs name remains listed among inmates waiting for execution.

A TDCJ spokesman said neither Cameron County nor the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has sent any information or request to remove Velez TMs name from the list.

But defense attorneys for Velez contend that the agency poorly maintains the Death Row inmates list and has kept former inmates listed months and years after they were cleared.

Case History

Brownsville police originally arrested Velez for the October 2005 shaken baby death of 11-month-old Angel Moreno.

A legal team reversed Velez's death sentence after it was revealed that the baby's mother Rosalba Moreno lied on the stand during his trial.

Moreno pleaded guilty to injury to a child, got 10 years in prison but was released after serving five years and was deported to Mexico.

Defense attorneys for Velez believe that Moreno was the actual killer of the her own child.

New Trial

Judge Elia Cornejo-Lopez with the 404th State District Court in Brownsville overturned the death sentence in December and recommended a new trial.

Velez's new trial remains pending until the Texas Court Of Criminal Appeals approval.

The Brownsville man was transferred from a state prison and is in the Cameron County awaiting his next court appearance.

Velez and his family has always maintained his innocence in the case.

Brian Stull with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is part of legal team preparing for Velez TMs new trial.

Stull believes that Velez will be found not guilty once a new trial is granted and the case is heard before a jury.

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