Judge Sends Fresno Teen to Trial for Murder, Arthur Lopez, Darshae Dews

September 29, 2009 6:27:26 PM PDT
Investigators found 44-year-old Arthur Lopez murdered in his own Central Fresno home.                                    |   Search Related Stories   |

Investigators accuse Darshae Dews of sneaking into the home in July and stabbing Lopez approximately 20 times. The defense on the other hand believes 20 stab wounds show this was a crime of passion.

On Tuesday, a superior court judge found enough evidence to send 18-year-old Darshae Dews to trial for murdering Lopez. Fresno Detective Todd Fraizer testified about a picture taken of Dews' hand shortly after the murder. Fraizer said, "That is the defendant's hand which depict cuts on his index finger and small finger."

Frazier said the wounds indicate Dews used a knife. The victim suffered approximately 20 stab wounds to his back this summer. A search warrant also states the victim was found wearing only a tank top and underwear. Dews Defense Attorney Jim Lamb admits his client killed the man. Lamb says Lopez was gay and may have made sexual advances toward Dews. Lambe said, "That wouldn't be an excuse to commit murder of course, but it would an explanation at least to what the motive may be."

ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi believes the Lopez murder is a crime of passion because of how the man died. Capozzi says, "The defendant is upset, angered, very emotional about what was happening and keeps stabbing someone until that anger is dissipated, until that anger is gone."

The prosecutor is seeking a first degree murder conviction. The defense attorney believes this is a second degree murder because Dews did not plan to kill Lopez. Dews returns to court next month.

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