THE RECORDER

A hearing was held on Friday at the South County Justice Center in Porterville for a man who's accused of suffocating his wife.

Victor Lopez is charged with murdering his wife, Samantha Lopez, who worked as a social worker at Sierra View Medical Center.

The doctor who did the autopsy testified during Friday's hearing Samanta Lopez was suffocated to death. Prosecutors have stated it was Victor Lopez who suffocated his wife.

Three of Samantha Lopez's children told investigators they heard Samantha and Victor arguing in November, 2018.

One of the children then said Victor told them her mother was in the bedroom. But when she asked why the bedroom door was locked, Victor then said no one was in the bedroom

Tulare County Sheriff's Deputies arrived at the house later but Victor wouldn't let detectives inside. A detective testified on Friday the child was asked to check to see if her mom was in the house but when she went to the door it was locked.

Detectives left but came back later to confront Victor again. They said Victor locked the doors and escaped through a window.

Detectives found him hiding in a nearby shed. Another officer found Samantha Lopez dead inside the bedroom.

Detectives stated Lopez began to sob when he was arrested and a detective testified he said, "My kids aren't going to see their mother like that."

Tulare County Sheriff's Sergeant Kenny Jones interviewed Victor Lopez for three houts. Jones stated Lopez never denied killing his wife.

"He paused, he looked up at me and he said, I took her away from my kids," Jones testified in the hearing.

On Friday, a judge found there was enough evidence for the trial to move forward. Lopez will be back in court on March 6 for an arraignment. He faces 25 years to life in prison.  

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