Bail amount decreased for Fresno mother accused of using settlement money to buy guns for minors

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KPGE) – Christina Lopez – the mother who is accused of using money from a settlement with the City of Fresno to purchase guns for her 14-year-old son and other gang members – was arraigned in court on Tuesday.

Lopez’s bail was originally set at $1.6 million, but it was decreased to $750,000.

Lopez was paid almost five million dollars by the City of Fresno in April after her son was fatally shot by a police officer in 2017.

Now, six months after her settlement, Lopez is being accused of using that money to buy weapons for her 14-year-old son and other gang members.

“As a mother, and a prosecutor and a citizen of this county for my entire life, this is some of the most despicable behavior I’ve ever seen from a human being,” said Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp.

Lopez was arrested on Thursday as part of a large-scale gang investigation by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

She faces 22 felony charges; including conspiracy to provide firearms to a minor for the benefit of a street gang.

“We don’t need parents purchasing weapons for minors, or gang members who are minors. That certainly is something that is very significant,” said defense attorney David Mugridge.

Mugridge says because Lopez was given the money legally, it is unlikely the county could begin proceedings to confiscate any remaining funds.

“If she had converted it into a car and that car was used in the commission of a crime, that car could be confiscated, but not the money that’s still remaining in the account,” he said.

Her representative said Lopez uses her money to take care of her children.

“She doesn’t work. She takes care of her kids. She uses the funds from the settlement as a means to support those children,” he said.

Smittcamp said she is looking for a way to possibly confiscate the remaining settlement money.

Lopez’s preliminary hearing is set for November 16.

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