Stock brain tissue to be examined in 2013 murder case

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Stock brain tissue of a woman who died in 2013 will be examined after her accused killer – her husband – was brought back to Kern County following a conditional reversal of his murder conviction.

A hearing is set for Wednesday to determine when a defense expert will go to the coroner’s office and examine the tissue taken from the brain of Maria Cortes.

Her husband, Jorge Luis Aceves-Cortez, was convicted of second-degree murder after prosecutors said he killed her by shoving her in the head and knocking her backward onto a couch. She died at a local hospital several hours later. 

The attorney representing Aceves-Cortez argued she died from a rupture of a previously undiagnosed brain aneurysm. 

Last year, the 5th District Court of Appeal conditionally reversed Aceves-Cortez’s conviction after finding the coroner’s office inadvertently failed to disclose that stock tissue taken from the brain of Cortes had been preserved. The reversal was made to give the defense an opportunity to examine the preserved tissue and see if there is evidence of an aneurysm.

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