Emma Torres agreed with the Smith County District Attorney's Office to plead guilty to the state jail felony in exchange for providing information against her boyfriend, Simon Lopez, who faces a capital murder change in the 2010 death of her 18-month-old son, Jeremy Silva.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Lopez. The charge to which Ms. Torres pleaded guilty on Monday is related to the abandonment of her older child, who was 4 years old at that time.
Defense Attorney Greg Waldron said in court the child abandonment charge regarding the older child results from the fact Lopez drove Ms. Torres to work, and both of the young children were left home alone.
Judge Kerry Russell also dismissed a second pending child abandonment charge against Ms. Torres, a second-degree felony, on Monday. That charge was related to her deceased child, Jeremy.
Russell dismissed the pending capital murder charge against Ms. Torres in August for her cooperation with authorities in prosecuting Lopez, Bingham said in court.
Bingham said in court on Monday that if Ms. Torres changes her mind about helping prosecutors in the Lopez capital murder case or does not provide information that is helpful to them in proving their case against him, she still could be re-indicted on capital murder charges. Prosecutors were not seeking the death penalty for Ms. Torres.
Ms. Torres also recently took and passed a polygraph exam, Bingham said in court. “She passed (the exam) on questions relevant to the death of Jeremy Silva,” he told the judge.
U.S. Marshals arrested Lopez in Mexico in July 2011. Autopsy reports showed the baby died from heart damage resulting from blunt force trauma to the chest, according to information from police. The Lopez trial is set for February 2013. Lopez is being held in the Smith County Jail on bonds totaling $3 million.
Doctors also noticed other signs of abuse, including strangulation, broken ribs and severe bruising, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
There is a restrictive and protective order in place on the Lopez case, which means there can be no comment outside of the courtroom.