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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Federal jury returns guilty verdict in Española carjacking

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced that on Oct. 14 a federal jury returned a guilty verdict on Martin Lopez. The jury convicted Lopez, 37, of Española, New Mexico, on one count each of carjacking and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

A federal grand jury indicted Lopez on March 12, 2021.

According to court records, on Oct. 31, 2020, the victim, identified as Jane Doe 1, who had been dating Lopez, ended her relationship with him that morning. She and a friend, identified as Jane Doe 2, attempted to deliver Lopez’s belongings to his friend who worked at an O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store in Española, New Mexico. As Jane Doe 1, was retrieving Lopez’s belongings from her vehicle, Lopez appeared, threatened the women, and forced his way into the vehicle at gunpoint.

Lopez struck both victims with his gun as he drove to an apartment complex where he pushed Jane Doe 2 out of the car. Later, New Mexico State Police were able to locate the car, the victim, and Lopez. Lopez fled as law enforcement arrived.

"This meaningful verdict comes during Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” said U.S. Attorney Uballez. “Intimate partner violence affects those who are abused as well as family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large. We have a duty to use all of the tools at our disposal, and work in partnership with local law enforcement, to ensure survivors have a viable path to safety and justice.”

“The FBI investigates violence that threatens to undermine the security of our communities,” said Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office. “Domestic violence is particularly egregious because it involves a person abusing someone who trusted them. We hope this verdict during Domestic Violence Awareness Month sends a clear signal this type of behavior will not be tolerated and will be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.”

Lopez will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled. He faces a minimum of seven years and up to life in prison.

The FBI and the New Mexico State Police investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jaymie L. Roybal and Letitia Carroll Simms are prosecuting the case.

Anyone experiencing domestic violence or who knows someone experiencing domestic violence can reach an advocate at the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). In New Mexico, the Domestic Violence Resource Center is available by telephone at (505) 843-9123 or online at https://dvrcnm.org/.

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Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
22-228
Updated October 18, 2022