Husband, mother-in-law arraigned for manslaughter in Stamford woman’s death

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STAMFORD -

The husband and mother-in-law accused in the death of a Stamford woman were arraigned on manslaughter charges Monday.

Dozens of Iris Lopez's family members packed the courtroom wearing shirts with her photo on them. Some of them softly cheered when the judge agreed to keep bond for each defendant at $1 million.

"We're far from over and we know that, but it's definitely going in the direction we want it to go in," says Iris Lopez's sister Rosie Estrella.

The new charges are something for which they have been waiting more than seven months. Lopez died from a brain bleed due to blunt force trauma to the head in November.

Initially, her husband Hector Lopez and his mother Mercedes Martinez were charged with cruelty to persons for denying medical care to Iris Lopez. The charge has been upgraded to manslaughter.

The prosecutor Monday said Iris Lopez was left dying for 15 hours before Martinez called for an ambulance.

The arrest warrants say the two suspects saw that Iris Lopez was unresponsive that morning, and even frothing at the mouth. But her husband did not want to call 911 because of concerns he'd be blamed for the dozens of bruises on her body. Police say Hector Lopez has a history of domestic violence.

Police say it was several hours later, when Iris Lopez still hadn't regained consciousness, that he allowed his mother to get help.

"The suspects claim the victim struck her head in a drunken stupor," said Sgt. Sean Boeger. "That's remained unproved. We've not been able to prove or disprove up to this point, whether that was the case. However, there was overwhelming evidence to show the victim was clearly in need of critical medical treatment and was denied that by the two suspects."

Martinez's daughters called their mother a victim in this case. They also defended their brother.

"He loved her, that was his queen," says Hector Lopez's sister Margarita Collazo. "Like he's always said, he would never hurt her."

Both suspects face additional charges, including risk of injury to a minor. Police say the couple's three children were in the home at the time and saw their mother in that state.

RELATED:
Screaming match follows court hearing in Iris Lopez ‘suspicious’ death case
Police: Mother-in-law arrested in connection to death of Stamford mother of 4

 

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