Father who started a fire that killed his two children sentenced to nearly 13 years
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – It was an emotional day in court as a Rancho Bernardo father of two young children is sentenced for their deaths.
Investigators say the kids died in a fire at the hands of their father Henry Lopez.
Video of 7-year-old Isabella and 10-year-old Cristos was played in court at the start of Wednesday’s sentencing.
Their father Henry Lopez was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for their deaths last year. Prosecutors said the 39-year-old fell asleep, drunk, with a lit cigarette in his hand, sparking a fire in his Rancho Bernardo condo that killed his two kids in 2017
“I told you this was gonna happen… That you’re not above the law… not above God… I told you countless times,” said an emotional Nikia Lopez, mother and children.
Nikia Lopez addressed the court and her ex-husband directly. “You took my children.. six miscarriages that I went through to give you those children!”
She described her ex as a selfish man who drank and self medicated. After his family addressed the court, Nikia Lopez extended her arms to her former father-in-law. During the trial the DA argued Lopez tried to escape before ever getting to his kids.
“I heard the defendant say that justice has not been served and that the prosecutor is a liar. I completely disagree with those statements . it shows that the defendant has completely and utterly failed to except responsibility for his actions,” said Judge Steven E. Stone, Superior Court of California San Diego County.
The judge sentenced Henry Lopez to 12 years and eight months in state prison.
“I Don’t know what to do on a daily basis I go crazy every day . I cannot go and get my kids from school like any other normal moms.I look at the backseat of my car and there’s just a basketball,” said Nikia Lopez.
The prosecutor said Henry Lopez might only half to serve half of his sentence and will be eligible for parole in about 4 years.