A California based mother is booked for murdering her daughter
On Monday, the California Court of Appeals upheld the 2018 mother’s murder conviction for the torture and murder of her 3-year-old daughter.
The second appeals court also upheld Maria Chavez’s 37-year life sentence for murdering her daughter Kimberly Lopez in 2015. Chavez, 28, forced Lopez to fatally hit her in the head, causing her to drop her leg from underneath during a diaper change. She then took the baby’s body to Mexico to dispose of.
Chavez claimed that dead dogs discovered the deceased girl
In his appeal last year, Chavez argued that the dead dogs had mistakenly detected a smell in a car that authorities believed was used to transport Lopez’s remains to Mexico. However, the appeals court ruled that there was “no reasonable probability” that the jury would have reached a different decision had the discovery of dead dogs not been included in the trial.
The murdered girl’s father, Omar Lopez, testified that he and Chavez did not seek medical help for his daughter, who had convulsions after being injured. He also said that he and Chavez went to Mexico, where they destroyed their daughter’s remains.
Kimberly Lopez’s body was never found. Omar Lopez testified that Chavez’s mother Maria Lopez advised them to go to Mexico with the baby’s body and go into hiding.
Omar Lopez testified that at first they buried the child’s body but were afraid it would be found. They eventually took his body to a shelter in Mexico and destroyed his remains, he said.
Charges for the crime
Omar Lopez, who agreed to testify against Chavez, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for endangering his murdered daughter. Omar Lopez also agreed to testify against Maria Lopez but admitted he conspired to cover up Kimberly Lopez’s death. She was sentenced to 180 days in prison.
Prosecutors said Chávez had abused Kimberly Lopez in the past. Chavez also stated in his appeal that it has not been proven that he tortured her daughter.
The Court of Appeals wrote that “strong evidence” shows that Chavez immediately began bullying his daughter after receiving custody of her when the girl was 8 months old.
Chavez beat, bruised, scratched, bitten, and burned Kimberly Lopez. The girl was also forced to drink hot sauce, pecked at her eyes, and poured water on her during the bath.
Sources said social workers and police were investigating Kimberly Lopez’s parents after her body was found injured.