Fresno beer delivery driver killer gets life in prison
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Lopez killed Richard Hernandez, 27, without so much as a word two-and-a-half years ago. Thursday, as the victim's family asked for answers, Lopez again had nothing to say.
Felipe Hernandez is next to his father in the pictures Maria Perez has kept by her side for more than two years.
Felipe's great grandmother says the boy only understands the basics of why he'll never again stand next to his dad in the flesh.
Joey Jesse Lopez shot Richard Hernandez in the back in December 2009. Surveillance cameras caught the murder at a Central Fresno convenience store, so family members know exactly what happened to Hernandez. But the beer delivery truck driver's young son still has one question.
The victim's aunt-in-law, Lupe Arechiga said, "Felipe asks his mom, 'why did that bad man shoot my daddy?' we have no answer and I hope you spend the rest of your life trying to think of that little boy and thinking of an answer for him."
Lopez sat silently through nearly his entire trial, but his attorney argued an insanity defense. Police had sent Lopez to a mental ward just hours before the murder. Prosecutors argued Lopez was a sane, but manipulative meth user. The jury agreed, leaving Lopez to serve a life sentence, and finally giving his victim's family a sense of closure.
Action News asked, "Is today the day you guys can finally move on?"
Maria J Perez replied, "Yes. Finally. No more pain and suffering and now my grandson can rest in peace."
Lopez will serve at least 51 years before he's eligible for parole, so his first parole hearing would come when he's 78 years old.
crimetracker, murder, court, shooting, fresno police department, local, corin hoggard
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