CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - A Houston County grand jury recently indicted the Grapeland man who is accused of the brutal beating of his sister, which resulted in the death of her unborn baby.
According to the Houston County indictment list East Texas News obtained Wednesday, Juan Cortes-Guterriez was indicted on three felony charges - murder, aggravated kidnapping, and burglary of a habitation.
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.
He was originally charged with capital murder, and he could have faced the death penalty if prosecutors had chosen to pursue that punishment.
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. A short time after the assault, authorities learned 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," Crockett Police Chief Buddy Cross said. "A child by law is any age including children that have not been born."
"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."
In an unrelated case, the Houston County grand jury also indicted for Kevin Wayne Hathorn, 29, of Kennard for three felony charges - aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual assault of a child, and indecency with a child.
According to the arrest affidavit, the alleged crimes started when the victim was six and lasted until she was 14. The report said the victim was given a forensic interview where she stated, the first several encounters with Hathorn involved him sexually assaulting her with his finger.
The affidavit stated the victim told investigators that Hathorn first had sex with her at the age of 12. The victim stated this occurred over a two-year period.
The report stated investigators interviewed Hathorn on April 9, 2015. The report stated Hathorn admitted to the encounters and that it was done for sexual arousal and not initiated by the victim.