Man Who Said Teen Hired Him to Kill Her Learns Fate

Joseph Lopez gets 48 years in plea deal
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2018 6:40 PM CST
Joseph Michael Lopez   (Adams County Sheriff's Office)

(Newser) – The Colorado 23-year-old who said his 19-year-old victim hired him to kill her was sentenced Monday to 48 years in prison. Joseph Lopez, who fatally shot Natalie Bollinger in the head on Dec. 29, 2017, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, People reports. The plea deal allowed him to skirt a possible life sentence, CBS reports. Lopez told investigators he was responding to an ad posted to Craigslist's singles section titled, "I want to put a hit on myself." He said Bollinger posted the ad asking for a hitman to kill her, but officials have never confirmed the ad existed. The chief deputy DA did, however, say at Lopez's sentencing that Lopez exchanged dozens of texts with Bollinger before shooting her and could have alerted authorities instead of going through with the plan: "He didn’t respond as a human being. He responded as a predator." (Lopez said that before killing her, he prayed with Bollinger.)

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