Gila River Teen Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Second Degree Murder

Gila River Teen Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Second Degree Murder and Robbery.

On February 28, U.S. District Judge Roslyn O. Silver sentenced Gila River teenager Johnny Lopez, 17, of Laveen, Arizona to a combined 30 years of imprisonment.

The teenager pled guilty, in two separate cases, to Robbery and Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence, and Second Degree Murder according to a Department of Justice press release.

Lopez stated in his plea agreement for the robbery case, on February 20, 2010, that he held a man at gunpoint while he and his accomplices stole the man’s vehicle on the Gila River Indian Reservation. An accomplice instructed the victim of the robbery to walk into the desert or Lopez would shoot him. The victim complied. The judge sentenced Lopez to 70 months imprisonment on the robbery charge. She also sentenced him to 120 months imprisonment on the use of a firearm during a crime of violence charge, which is to be served consecutively to the second degree murder sentence. Lopez was also sentenced to a term of five years of supervised release, to follow his release from prison, and was ordered to pay $2,200 in restitution.

In regards to the murder case, Lopez stated in his plea agreement on July 22, 2010 that he carried a rifle into a neighboring home of his mother’s house on the reservation where he proceeded to have a conversation with two occupants before opening fire and shooting the two men, a father and son, several times. Both victims died due to injuries. Lopez then stated he told a friend later that night to bury the rifle. Silver sentenced Lopez to concurrent terms of 240 months imprisonment and five years of supervised release on the two murder counts and ordered him to pay $20,359.88 in restitution according to the release.

The Gila River Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled the investigation.