Comments Off on Johnny Lopez, 34, to stand trial Riverside County Superior Court for murdering his wife, Joanna Angel Barrientos Lopez, 36, and her 5-year-old stepdaughter, Mia Lopez, 5, and attempting to strangle and then cutting his girlfriend with a knife and an ax; said he was under the influence of alcohol and Methamphetamine at the time

An investigator testified Friday that an East Hemet man told him he “had a deal with the devil” and killed his estranged wife and 5-year-old daughter and tried to kill his girlfriend in 2013. Johnny Lopez

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Angel Bermudez ordered Johnny Lopez, 34, to stand trial on two counts of murder, rape by force, burglary and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

The judge set his arraignment on the charges for Oct. 31.

The county District Attorney’s Office has announced it will seek the death penalty.

A jailhouse interview video recorded two days after the Nov. 9, 2013, attacks was shown in court at Lopez’s preliminary hearing Friday. In it, Lopez admitted to killing his wife, Joanna Angel Barrientos Lopez, 36, and her stepdaughter, Mia Lopez, 5, and attempting to strangle and then cutting his girlfriend with a knife and an ax.

During cross-examination after the video was shown, sheriff’s homicide Investigator Robert Stites told defense lawyer Brian Cosgrove that Johnny Lopez told him he (Lopez) was under the influence of alcohol and methamphetamine at the time of the attacks.

“He said he had a deal with the devil,” Stites testified. He added Lopez said he’d been hearing voices.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Buelna testified that he was called to the 41000 block of Sunset Lane, an unincorporated Hemet area neighborhood, just after 8 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2013, to answer a report of unknown trouble, looking for a man holding a knife with blood on him.

When he arrived, Buelna said, he spotted a man in front of a home across the street who was dressed in a T-shirt, boxer shorts and socks and who appeared to have blood on his hands.

He said the man, later identified as Lopez, did not respond to questions and resisted and tried to run away when the deputy attempted to handcuff him. Lopez was apprehended after a struggle in which he struck the deputy’s lip, ran away and the deputy fired pepper spray and struck the suspect several times with a baton.

Deputies found a broken window in the front of the house where they had been called and found Lopez’s girlfriend in the garage. An electrical cord had been wrapped around the naked woman’s neck and she had been slashed with a knife and ax.

Buelna said the woman was groaning, but did not appear to be conscious. The woman, now 31, survived her wounds.

At another home on Girard Street, Stites said, investigators found the bodies of Joanna and Mia Lopez. Joanna Lopez had been shot in the forehead and Mia in the left temple.

In the video shown in court, Lopez said he had attacked the two, then drove away, only to return to “finish” them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.pe.com/articles/lopez-752166-deputy-hemet.html

 

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