Grapeland man accused of killing sister's unborn baby in brutal attack

Juan Cortes (Source: Houston County Jail)
Juan Cortes (Source: Houston County Jail)

CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - Crockett police have filed a capital murder charge on a Grapeland man in the brutal beating of his sister which resulted in the death of her unborn baby.

Police arrested Juan Gutierrez Cortes, 26, on May 1 after he allegedly tied up his sister up with duct tape and blindfolded her and beat her and left her in a pool of her own blood.

According to an arrest affidavit, Cortes, who is an illegal immigrant, was upset at his family because they were "meddling" in his business in regards to an extramarital affair he was having. He had threatened to take action on it.

According to police, the victim was released from the hospital several days after the assault but will have to have reconstructive surgery. Police learned on Monday the victim was six weeks pregnant and lost the unborn baby in the assault.

"According to the Texas penal code, we have the right to go after capital murder because Cortes caused the death of a child," Cross said. "A child by law is any age including children that have not been born."

Police obtained a capital murder warrant for Cortes on Monday, meaning he could face the death penalty if prosecutors choose to pursue that punishment.

"We are going strictly by law," Cross said. "Again, we have talked with our prosecutors and the district attorney. It's a sad day. It's a sad day for her and her family and for the officers up here having to work it. It's a tough case but we were prepared to file these charges."

Cortes is being held on a collective bond of $2.5 million for all three charges.

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