A Hispanic mother from California who received $ 4.9 million in an out-of-court settlement to settle a lawsuit for the death of her adolescent son, he is now in serious legal trouble. The police arrested her on suspicion of having used her fortune to buy weapons from them his 14-year-old son and members of a gang to which he belongs.
Cristina López, 42, of Madera, faces 22 counts of conspiracy to provide firearms to a minor for the benefit of a gang, endanger a child and conspire to provide a firearm to a gang member , reported in a statement the Fresno County Sheriffs Department, Northern California.
López, his youngest son and 12 other members of the Calwa gang have also been linked to the murder of a man in the city of Malaga on July 9. According to prosecutors, the crime was ordered by the gang leader Jesse Aguilar, 47, alias ‘Paya’, who is serving a life sentence in Salinas Valley prison for killing a person in 2014.
To the son of López, whose name was not published because he was a minor, they charged him with possession of weapons, conspiracy to commit crimes and benefit a gang. The Prosecutor’s Office presented the same crimes against a 13-year-old adolescent, who was also arrested in this case.
Prosecutors claim that López bought weapons from his son, who in turn shared or sold them to other gang members. In searches of 14 homes linked to the gang, the authorities confiscated 12 firearms.
Ralph Torres, López’s defense attorney, told the channel ABC30 that your client can show how she has spent the money paid by the government and underscored that she moved out of the Calwa area precisely to keep her children away from bad company.
Lopez and her husband won a $ 4.9 million settlement in April for the death of their 16-year-old son, Isiah Murrietta-Golding. In 2017, he was fatally shot by a Fresno Police sergeant. Isiah and his older brother Israel were wanted for questioning for a murder. Upon locating them, the agent shot Isiah, who was unarmed, in the neck.
Michael Haddad, who represented this woman in the civil rights lawsuit, told the agency AP that he did not believe the accusations. He described her as a “good mother” and mentioned that it seemed to him that the authorities were acting against her because of the money they gave her.
“The charges really seem like retaliation to me, because he hit the Fresno Police Department in a major civil rights case for killing his son,” Haddad told the agency.
The crime that uncovered everything
The Fresno Prosecutor’s Office alleges that instead of López rebuilding his life and that of his family with the fortune he received, he became involved in the criminal activities of the gang to which his son belongs.
Everything was discovered after the murder of Javier Fernández, 52 years old, near his home in Malaga, on July 9. At the moment it is unknown if the weapon or weapons used to commit this crime were acquired by López.
Detectives say the prime suspect, Richard Aguilar, used a silver Honda CRV car with a theft report. The vehicle was burned and was found near the corner of Jensen and Cedar avenues. A security camera captured four people fleeing the scene. That image was released by the authorities asking for the public’s help to identify them.
The Police received two complaints, one of which pointed to a place near Aguilar’s home.
Aguilar, 18, was arrested last Thursday at a home in the 2200 block of Norris Drive East, in Fresno’s Mayfair district. The gang member barricaded himself in a room and surrendered when agents from the SWAT special tactics team fired tear gas.
He was transferred to the Fresno County Jail. He is charged with murder and has an outstanding warrant for robbery. Most of the other gang members arrested in this case are between the ages of 18 and 24.