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Convicted Fresno murderer found to be sane

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Jurors ruled Joey Jesse Lopez was sane at the time he killed Richard Hernandez at a Central Fresno gas station parking lot.

The incident happened back in 2009 - just a few hours after Lopez was released from a psych ward.

During the trial - defense attorney Jim Lambe said doctors missed a mental illness because Lopez wasn't thoroughly examined, but prosecutors argued he gave clear instructions to a getaway driver, hid from police and was clearly in control when investigators interviewed him after he was caught.

Deputy District Attorney, Jeff Dupras said, "Pleased, very pleased for the victims in this case. This case is well over two years old. Huge tragedy for them when you send your loved one off to work and you get a call they've been murdered."

Defense Attorney, Jim Lambe said, "Because of the lengthy psychiatric history, release from a mental facility six hours before, that's why I felt a not guilty by reason of insanity verdict."

Lopez is now scheduled for sentencing May 31st. He faces up to 51 years to life in prison.

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crimetracker, murder, court, shooting, fresno police department, local
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