Crime

Guilty of murder, Antonio Lopez sentenced to 35 years in prison

Lopez found guilty of murder

UPDATE: A jury found Antonio Lopez guilty of the lesser charge of Murder for the 2012 killing of Baby Jayla.

Lopez, originally charged with Capital Murder and facing up to 99 years in prison, was sentenced to 35 years in prison.


PREVIOUS STORY: The jury in the capital murder retrial of Antonio Lopez was once again shown video of a police interview in which Lopez allegedly admitted to killing an 11-month-old girl in his care.

Lopez is accused of stomping Jayla Beckely to death in 2012. Jayla suffered tears in her liver and intestines, five broken ribs and a fractured skull.

In the interview, Lopez reveals Jayla was crying and would not come to him and describes how he picks Jayla up, puts her on the floor and shows how he stomps her.

Police said Lopez confessed to killing baby Jayla several times: during a 911 phone call, to police detectives and to a former jail inmate.

The original capital murder trial in 2016 ended with a hung jury when jurors failed to reach a verdict after more than two days of deliberations. At the time, nine jurors were in favor of an acquittal and three wanted a conviction.

Lopez's defense has argued another foster child, named Abigail, then 12, killed Jayla.

During the original trial, a defense witness, a mitigation specialist with the public defender's office, indicated Abigail told her she was at the Lopez home on the day of the murder.

Two former foster parents of Abigail also testified, stating that Abigail displayed violent behavior towards fellow foster children, including choking another 5-year-old.  One even testified Abigail confessed to killing baby Jayla.

When bought to the stand as a witness for the prosecution, Abigail not only denied seeing Jayla, she denied being at the home the day the baby was killed.

Lopez's former inmate was also brought to the stand to testify during the original trial. Justin Holmes, a convicted child pornographer, testified Lopez admitted to him while at the county jail he beat Kayla, stomping on her three times.


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