TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The South County Justice Center in Porterville sentenced 37-year-old Victor Lopez to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of his 31-year-old wife, Samantha Quintanar-Lopez, according to the Tulare County District Attorney.
Official court records say the morning of November 27, 2018, Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 1127 east Date Avenue in Porterville for a welfare check after the victim’s coworkers reported she did not come into work.
Deputies say they contacted Lopez at the residence and were told the victim and him had gotten into an argument the night prior and she had left after midnight. Her 9-year-old daughter confirmed with deputies that her mom was not home.
Just after 1:00 p.m. that same day, court documents state another welfare check was requested, but by the victim’s ex-husband. Deputies contacted Lopez again at the residence but he refused to let them in. He locked himself inside with her children: two 9-year-old girls and a two-year-old boy. Shortly after Lopez attempted to flee the home through a window but was subdued after being chased.
Authorities say upon searching the home, they found 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, on November 16, 2022, the jury convicted Lopez of first-degree murder and felony domestic violence causing great bodily injury.