Federal Inmate Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder Of Cellmate
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida
Ocala, Florida – Senior United States District Judge John Antoon II has sentenced Romeo Lopez-Hernandez (37, Coleman) to life in federal prison. A federal jury had found Lopez-Hernandez guilty of first degree, premeditated murder on January 19, 2023.
According to evidence presented during the three-day trial, on February 1, 2021, Lopez-Hernandez strangled his cellmate to death using a torn bed sheet he had made with an improvised knife. After the victim lost consciousness, Lopez-Hernandez watched for guards and continued to strangle the victim until he was sure that the victim had died. Lopez-Hernandez later confessed to the murder and bragged about it to prison personnel. At trial, however, Lopez-Hernandez changed his story and claimed the victim had committed suicide.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tyrie K. Boyer and Belkis H. Crockett.
Updated April 25, 2023