Accused intoxicated driver to remain in jail while awaiting trial

Edy Lopez-Hernandez
Edy Lopez-Hernandez (Houston Police Department)

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – The alleged intoxicated driver charged with killing a 17-year-old girl and her father will stay in jail while he’s awaiting trial.

The judge ordered a much higher bond Thursday for 27-year-old Edy Lopez-Hernandez, who is charged with two counts of murder, one count of intoxication assault, and hit-and-run for his role in the deadly crash near the intersection of Dunvale Road and Westpark Drive.

Lopez-Hernandez was arraigned Thursday on the charges.

According to court documents, he was high on drugs when he crashed his car into another car that was being driven by 65-year-old Mario Baez, who was on his way to a movie with his family.

Baez’s daughter was killed in the crash. Baez died of his injuries about two weeks later. Another, younger daughter was also injured.

Lopez-Hernandez fled from the scene on foot with his 2-year-old son, who was in the car with him at the time of the crash, according to investigators.

Judge Jan Crocker raised Lopez-Hernandez’s bond to just over $400,000 at the request of prosecutors who said Lopez-Hernandez, who is Guatamalan, is in the country illegally and had been deported following two previous arrests.

"He was arrested in Harris County in 2010, served a jail sentence for possession of marijuana. He was subsequently deported in January 2011," said Sean Teare, an assistant Harris County district attorney. "He was rearrested in McAllen in April 2011 and also charged with illegal entry into the United States for a second time."

Lopez-Hernandez's attorney said he believes his client should be presumed to be innocent at this stage of the judicial process.

"I can definitely say our client at this point in time should be afforded the presumption of innocence. All defendants are presumed innocent when charges are brought and it’s early in this case," said Eric Davis, Lopez-Hernandez's court-appointed attorney.

If Lopez-Hernandez is found guilty on either of the murder charges, he could face up to 99 years in prison.