Man Accused of Killing Wife, Child Pleads Not Guilty

MURRIETA – A convicted felon accused of killing his wife and 5- year-old daughter, as well as raping and stabbing his ex-girlfriend, pleaded not guilty today to murder and other charges.

Johnny Lopez, 33, of Hemet was arrested Nov. 9 after alleged attacks at two different locations in an unincorporated section of the city.

Along with two counts of first-degree murder, Lopez is charged with attempted murder, special circumstance allegations of taking multiple lives in the same crime, rape, burglary, being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon, as well as gun and great bodily injury allegations.

He appeared with his public defender before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Judith Clark, who scheduled a felony settlement conference in the case for Jan. 17. Lopez remains held without bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

Sheriff’s investigators allege that on the night of Nov. 9, Lopez fatally shot his wife, 36-year-old Joanna Angel Barrientos Lopez, and Mia Lopez, the defendant’s child from a previous relationship. The victims were killed inside a house in the 26000 block of Girard Street, according to sheriff’s officials.

A possible motive for the killings has not been disclosed.

After the shootings, Lopez went to his ex-girlfriend’s home in the 41000 block of Sunset Lane, less than a mile away, according to investigators. The defendant allegedly forced his way onto the property, sexually assaulted the victim, then allegedly used a knife, ax and extension cord in an attempt to kill her, according to a criminal complaint.

Witnesses called police, who encountered Lopez standing in the front yard of the house, blood-stained and hostile, a sheriff’s sergeant said.

The defendant allegedly scuffled with officers before he was taken into custody.

The ex-girlfriend, whose identity was not released, was treated for serious injuries and remained hospitalized for several days.

Lopez has prior felony convictions for illegal possession of controlled substances and recklessly discharging a firearm.

The District Attorney’s Office has not announced if prosecutors will seek the death penalty if Lopez is convicted. Otherwise, he could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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