MURRIETA – Criminal charges that could result in the death penalty were filed today against a Hemet man accused of fatally shooting his wife and 5-year-old daughter and stabbing and raping his ex-girlfriend.
Johnny Lopez, 33, is charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Joanna Angel Barrientos Lopez, 36, and Mia Lopez, along with a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders. A decision on whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date by District Attorney Paul Zellerbach.
If convicted, Lopez would face a minimum of life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to District Attorney’s spokesman John Hall.
He is slated to be arraigned on Dec. 6 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
About 8:15 p.m. last Saturday, deputies responded to a call of a bloodied man standing in the street in front of a home in the 41000 block of Sunset Lane in Hemet. The man, identified as Lopez, struggled with deputies before he was taken into custody, Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Torrenti said.
Inside the home, deputies found his former girlfriend with serious neck lacerations that were initially considered life-threatening. She remains hospitalized in stable condition.
Lopez is charged with attempted murder for allegedly inflicting the stab wounds, and is also charged with raping the woman, whose identity was withheld.
About an hour later, dispatchers received a call from the 26000 block of Girard Street in Hemet, just more than a mile away from the Sunset Lane home.
There, deputies found the bodies of the defendant’s wife and daughter, Torrenti said. Mia was a child from a previous relationship Johnny Lopez had with a woman other than Barrientos, according to broadcast reports.
Lopez is also charged with burglary and allegations that he used a knife, an ax and a cord in the attack against his ex-girlfriend, Hall said.
At 9:16 p.m. on Saturday, deputies received a suspicious circumstance call at a residence in the 26000 block of Girard Street in Hemet. The caller reported that two people were dead inside the residence.