SAN ANTONIO – After a stay of execution was granted earlier this week, Ramiro Gonzales’ case will now go back to a trial court in Medina County.
Gonzales is on death row for the 2001 kidnapping, rape and murder of 18-year-old Bridget Townsend of Bandera County.
A federal court judge last week ruled in favor of Gonzales’ spiritual advisor putting a hand on his heart during execution. His attorneys also filed for a reprieve to allow him to donate a kidney.
On Monday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled on a writ of habeas corpus and stated that Gonzales’ sentence should be revisited after it was discovered that a forensic psychologist’s testimony was false.
In 2006, Dr. Edward Gripon testified that Gonzales would likely commit sexual assault again and was a future danger to the public.
Gripon has since re-interviewed Gonzales and changed his assessment, saying his sentence should be changed to life in prison.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office could appeal the latest decision, but as of right now the case will head back to Medina County.
A hearing will take place at a later date and that’s when Gonzales’ sentence will be looked at and a determination will be made whether he stays on death row or gets life in prison without parole.
As for the chance to donate a kidney, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied that request.