Man pleads guilty to manslaughter charge from 1998

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 2:02 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2022 at 7:08 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Gabriel Lopez, who was arrested in the 1998 murder of 26-year-old Jessie Ordonez, pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge Tuesday.

Lopez received seven years in prison and will get 1,189 days of jail credit. Lopez still has cases pending in Idaho.

After the sentencing, Ordonez’s wife provided a victim impact statement, in the statement she told Lopez that he took a father away from raising his kids, but he can not take away the memories that they share. She said, “I don’t know how you have lived with yourself for the last twenty-four years.”

Lopez’s defense attorney, Nick Olgee, spoke on why Lopez pleaded guilty after all these years. “It is an old case and I just feel like he felt like he had been sitting in jail for three years and three months and he was ready to get this over with.”

Investigators determined Ordonez was severely beaten to death during a fight with two other men at a New Year’s Eve party at a home in the 2400 block of 3rd Street.

Lee Lopez and Gabriel Lopez had been identified as suspects in the death but a Grand Jury failed to indict the brothers on manslaughter charges back in 2007.

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