In order to comply with the highest ethical standards of prosecution, the Collin County District Attorney's Office on June 17, 2015, forwarded a previously-undisclosed interview of a witness to attorneys for
Cortez was convicted of capital murder in 2009 and sentenced to death by lethal injection by a Collin County jury for the murders of four people in McKinney, Texas, in 2004.
The interview was conducted by the McKinney Police Department of
Eddie Williams, an accomplice to the crime who testified for the prosecution in the Cortez trial. Williams' testimony at trial was corroborated by both circumstantial and physical evidence. Six other recorded interviews between Williams and the McKinney Police Department were provided to Cortez's attorneys before his trial. It is not believed that this additional interview of Williams contains any new information, but it is being provided to Cortez's attorneys for them to take whatever action, if any, they find appropriate.
The existence of this interview was discovered when the McKinney Police Department alerted the DA's office that prosecutors may never have had the interview in their file. An investigative supplement from McKinney PD documenting the facts surrounding the discovery of the interview is also being provided to Cortez's attorneys. After an extensive internal review, prosecutors cannot verify that the interview was ever provided to the defense.
Cortez was tried in the 416th District Court, the Honorable Judge
Webb Biard presiding, by assistant district attorneys working for then Collin County DA
John Roach. Williams is currently serving a 20-year sentence for his role in the murders.
Because this matter may involve ongoing litigation, further public comment by the Collin County District Attorney's office would be inappropriate.