Office of the United States Attorney, Ann Birmingham Scheel
District of Arizona
March 05, 2012
GILA RIVER TEEN SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IN PRISON FOR SECOND DEGREE MURDER AND ROBBERY
PHOENIX – On Feb. 28, 2012, Johnny Lopez, 17, of Laveen, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roslyn O. Silver to a combined 30 years of imprisonment. Lopez had previously pleaded guilty, in two separate cases, to Robbery and Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence, and Second Degree Murder, respectively.
According to Lopez’s plea agreement in the robbery case, on Feb. 20, 2010, Lopez held a man at gunpoint while he and his accomplices stole the man’s vehicle, within the confines of the Gila River Indian Reservation. During the robbery, one of Lopez’s accomplices instructed the victim to walk into the desert or he would be shot by Lopez. The victim complied and Lopez drove the vehicle away from the crime scene. Judge Silver sentenced Lopez to 70 months imprisonment on the robbery charge. She also sentenced him to 120 months imprisonment on the use of a firearm during a crime of violence charge, which is to be served consecutively to the second degree murder sentence. Lopez was also sentenced to a term of five years of supervised release, to follow his release from prison, and was ordered to pay $2,200 in restitution.
According to Lopez’s plea agreement in the murder case, on July 22, 2010, Lopez, while carrying a rifle, entered a home neighboring his mother’s house, within the confines of the Gila River Indian Reservation. After a brief conversation with two occupants of the home, Lopez opened fire and shot the two men, a father and his son, several times. Both victims died as a result of their injuries. Later that night, Lopez instructed a friend to bury the rifle. Judge Silver sentenced Lopez to concurrent terms of 240 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release on the two murder counts and ordered him to pay $20,359.88 in restitution.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Gila River Police Department. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Heather H. Belt and Melissa B. Karlen, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBERS: CR-11-1835-PHX-ROS; CR-11-1836-PHX-ROS
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-055(Lopez)
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/