Anchorage-based soldier David Lopez was found guilty on Friday of murder in the shooting death of his wife, Sara Lopez, in December 2012. after the Office of Children’s Service took temporary custody of their two-year-old child.
Lopez, 26, faced three felony counts and one misdemeanor count for the Dec. 12, 2012 incident, including first-degree murder and terroristic threatening for a phone call he made to OCS just prior to Sara’s death.
During opening statements in early June, deputy district attorney Clint Campion argued that David Lopez shot and killed his wife because she had taken their child to the hospital, and the child had been subsequently taken into temporary custody by OCS.
On the evening of the incident, Lopez had called OCS and threatened to kill everyone in the office. Roughly half an hour later, Lopez called 911 dispatchers saying “I think I shot my wife,” according to a recording played in court. Police officers found her barely breathing, and emergency responders later pronounced her dead at the scene from a single gunshot to the head, Campion said during opening statements.
Lopez later told police that he did not shoot his wife. Defense attorney Dunnington Babb argued during opening statements that Lopez’s wife, suffering from a history of depression and opioid abuse, took her own life that night.
A jury found Lopez guilty on all four counts, according to a statement sent out by Campion on Monday morning.
Lopez will be sentenced on Oct. 3, and faces a prison sentence of up to 99 years, Campion wrote.
Lopez, originally from Rochester, N.Y., joined the Army in 2009. He was still enlisted in the Army in early June but was “pending separation,” based on the trial’s outcome, said John Pennell, spokesperson for U.S. Army Alaska.