Local News

Aug 6, 2013 10:09 PM by Mike Manzoni -- mmanzoni@kristv.com

Man Acquitted Of 1992 Double Murder Due In Court

CORPUS CHRISTI -- The man who was first convicted of murdering two elderly women before an appeals court overturned the verdict is due in a Nueces County courtroom Wednesday morning.

Carlos Lopez, 58, was found guilty of capital murder in 2004 for the 1992 stabbing deaths of Mary Kocurek, 89, and Estefana Munoz, 80.

But an appellate court later reversed the jury's conviction, ruling that "no rational jury could decide from the evidence presented that appellant was able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct."

Prosecutors said Lopez walked into what was then Riverside Hospital in Calallen, went to room 109, and stabbed Kocurek and Munoz to death.

During the trial, Lopez' defense attorneys argued that their client was not guilty because he was insane. His defense team pointed out that Lopez believed he was controlled by witches and claimed to be the president of the United States and God.

But family members of the victim's have never bought the insanity defense. "The man committed a horrible double murder," said John Kocurek in a 2004 interview. "Insanity should not ever be considered on a deal like that."

The hearing Wednesday morning is to review Lopez' mental status to determine if he is fit to be released.

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