TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A 37-year-old man was convicted Wednesday of the 2018 murder of his 31-year-old wife. In the South County Justice Center in Porterville, Victor Lopez was convicted of murdering Samantha Quintanar-Lopez, according to the Office of the District Attorney County of Tulare.

Officials say that on November 27, 2018, Tulare County Sheriff’s Department deputies were dispatched to 1127 East Date Avenue in Porterville for a welfare check after the victim’s co-workers became concerned after she failed to report to work.

According to officials at the residence, deputies contacted Lopez who stated that he and the victim had an argument the night before, and the victim had left around midnight. A nine-year-old daughter of the victim also confirmed to law enforcement that her mother was not home.

At 1:20 p.m. on the same day according to officials, another welfare check was requested, this time by the victim’s ex-husband. When deputies again contacted Lopez, he refused entry into the residence and locked himself inside with the victim’s children which included two nine-year-old females and a two-year-old male. Shortly after, Lopez tried to flee the home through a window but was subdued after a foot pursuit. Upon a search of the residence, deputies discovered the victim’s body covered in a pile of blankets with a green shopping bag covering her head. The cause of death was determined to be manual suffocation.

After a multi-day trial that started on November 7, 2022, officials say the jury convicted Lopez of first-degree murder and felony domestic violence causing great bodily injury. Sentencing is scheduled for January 19, 2023, in Superior Court where Lopez faces life in prison.

Officials say the case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy District Attorney Kirk Davis and was investigated by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department.