HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In a move that shocked the Houston Police Department, a judge approved a motion to return evidence to the prime suspect in Josue Flores' murder investigation.
Chief Art Acevedo spoke only to ABC13 Eyewitness News about the development he says could hurt the investigation.
"Over our dead body," Chief Acevedo told ABC13. "We're going to fight this tooth and nail."
Court records show Andre Jackson's defense attorney first filed a motion to have his property returned in May 2018. It was not until recently, in March, that a judge approved the motion.
Sources tell Eyewitness News that when Jackson showed up to the station to try and retrieve his property, they refused to give it back.
Now, a legal battle has ensued.
"We're going to file every legal strategy we can, and file every motion we have to, to protect that evidence," Acevedo said.
According to HPD and the district attorney's office, Jackson is still considered a suspect in Josue's murder investigation.
Jackson was charged in 2016, but those charges were later dropped when the district attorney's office said DNA evidence was inconclusive.
"The technology gets better and better in this area in terms of extraction of DNA, so we would be remiss to not fight tooth and nail to get evidence of a person that has been previously charged," Acevedo added.
Police: 11-year-old boy fatally stabbed in north Houston
U.S. Marshals arrest man accused of fatally stabbing boy walking home from school in north Houston
Man falsely accused in boy's stabbing hopes police find Josue Flores' real killer
Mayor Turner makes plea for information in boy's stabbing death
HPD releases image of person of interest in Josue Flores case
Follow Stefania Okolie on Instagram and Twitter.
HPD chief defies judge's order to return Josue Flores evidence