Prosecutors urge Alabama judge to overturn decision to release convicted killer from jail ahead of sentencing
Prosecutors on Friday urged an Alabama judge to overturn his order to release a convicted murderer from jail on $100,000 bond as he awaits sentencing next month.
David Hernandez-Cordero, was found guilty Thursday of murder charges by a Mobile County jury.
But on Friday, Mobile County Circuit Court Judge Edward McDermott ordered Hernandez-Cordero’s release from jail after the judge withdrew his guilty verdict, according to court documents. The judge did not give reasons for his decision.
“The court withdraws its decision of guilt [verdict.] Therefore [Hernandez-Cordero] is released from the Metropolitan Mobile County Jail on his original $100,000 bond,” McDermott’s order read.
In the order, the judge also set Hernandez-Cordero’s sentence for Nov. 28, when McDermott will find the defendant guilty, according to Fox 10, which first reported the story.
Mobile County prosecutors filed a motion Friday urging McDermott to reconsider his order, saying “there is no apparent legal or factual basis for the court’s order withdrawing a guilty verdict.”
Prosecutors said judges have the discretion to make this order, but only in cases where defendants face 20 years or less in prison — Hernandez-Cordero faces at least 20 years in prison when convicted — and” if the indictment does not charge an offence, or if the court lacked jurisdiction over the offense charged.
“The indictment in this case charges the offense with murder, and this honorable court clearly has jurisdiction over that offense,” the motion reads.
In a motion to have Hernandez-Cordero’s bond revoked, which McDermott denied, prosecutors noted he violated the terms of his bond while awaiting trial by leaving Alabama for Florida.
They also said victim Tracie Dennis was brutally killed: she was shot twice, stabbed seven times, beaten and strangled on December 16, 2019.
Prosecutors allege Hernandez-Cordero aided his co-defendant, Marcos Oslan, in killing Dennis. Oslan pleaded guilty to murder charges in September and was sentenced to 30 years.
Dom Soto, Hernandez-Cordero’s lawyer, claimed that prosecutors had insinuated that his client’s Puerto Rican heritage had been used by prosecutors to claim he was at risk of fleeing.
“This guy is from Puerto Rico. And he was treated like he was a member of M-13 from El Salvador,” Soto told Fox 10.