Deceased Bodies Need to be Exhumed for Trial After Already Buried

Deceased Bodies Need to be Exhumed for Trial After Already Buried

By: Justin Kree

NewsWest 9

ODESSA- An elderly couple died back in December after a crash in Odessa and an autopsy was never performed after the crash. Ector County District Attorney is now asking to exhume their bodies.

The accident happened on Highway 302 and 8th street back on December 14th, 2013.

62 year old Ruben Granada and 71 year old Paula Sanchez were both killed. According to State Troopers their truck ran a red light and slammed into 52 year old Carroll Carpenter's truck. State troopers tell NewsWest 9, Carpenter was being investigated at that time because they suspected alcohol to be a factor in the crash. Now the D.A. Says he needs to be held accountable for these deaths.

"I'm not going to get into facts of this case, but we indicted this person for committing felony murder. One of the allegations is he ran a stop light, also we said he was speeding to avoid an accident and drive in a proper manner. The grand jury had all the evidence and they were able to return an indictment with that included. So that's all I can tell you, I can't get into any specifics about the facts," Bland said.

The question is who was at fault for the accident. Bland can't go ahead with the trial until an autopsy is performed, which means the bodies need to be exhumed.

"Right before Christmas losing their parents to a drunk driver. Then trying to get justice for that person, having to bury the parents and now they have to live through us digging up the bodies and getting justice for the parents," Bland said.

Bland said there is no reason an autopsy shouldn't have been done back in December and it was one of the hardest phone calls he had to make to let the family know that this was the best way to get justice.

"We've already indicted him for murder, but if we don't get the autopsy we can't go ahead and properly prosecute this individual for this crime," Bland said.

If the cemetery gets the "ok" to dig up the bodies, they'll be sent off to Fort Worth where the autopsy will be performed.

"This person on his third time DWI and finally kills somebody, they should be held accountable. We attend to hold them accountable. I want to make sure we get justice for the elderly couple and their children," Bland said.

Bland spoke with the County Judge and Medical Examiner and is hoping the autopsy will be performed next week.