Defense attorney Rick Hagan said he needed more time to ascertain whether Lopez had been extradited or expelled.
Lopez, 27, has been charged with capital murder in the death of 18-month Jeremy Silva in July, 2011. Lopez was babysitting Silva and another child while their mother, his girlfriend, was at work, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. He reportedly contacted the boy's aunt and told her he was not breathing. Silva was dropped off with the aunt, where he was taken to the emergency room and pronounced dead, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
The boy’s mother, Emma Torres, 19, has also been charged with capital murder, but the District Attorney’s Office is not seeking the death penalty for her. Both are being held in the Smith County jail on $2 million bond each.
In an April 25 hearing, Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said in court that the Mexican Attorney General's Office agreed that it would not be a violation of the Mexican extradition treaty with the United States to seek the death penalty for Lopez. Bingham said in court that Lopez had been expelled from Mexico and had not been extradited.
Federal officials took him into custody in Mexico in July.
In August, Bingham said his office might seek the death penalty for Lopez. Bingham said earlier that there is a treaty between the United States and Mexico about extraditions in capital cases in which the death penalty may be applied. Mexico will not extradite someone to the United States if they could receive the death penalty, even if they are a U.S. citizen, Bingham had said. Lopez is a U.S. citizen.
Judge Russell has said a trial for Lopez will be set for early 2013.
There is a restrictive and protective order now in place, which prevents any further comments on the cases, the District Attorney's Office said.
Autopsy results released in November revealed Silva died from heart damage resulting from blunt force trauma to the chest, according to information from police.
Doctors also noticed other signs of abuse, including strangulation, broken ribs and severe bruising, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.