On Wednesday, a judge sentenced a San Diego man to nearly 13 years in prison for his role in the 2017 deaths of his two children, who perished in a fire sparked by a lit cigarette he dropped after passing out while drunk.
Jurors convicted him last fall of involuntary manslaughter, child endangerment and recklessly causing a fire in an inhabited home for unwittingly starting the blaze.
According to prosecutors, the fire at his Rancho Bernardo house that killed his children — Isabella, 7, and Cristos, 10 — was ignited by a cigarette he dropped when he passed out following a night of heavy drinking.
The fire spread from his bedroom to the rest of the house. Coroners determined Isabella succumbed to smoke inhalation while Cristos died from burns.
Lopez suffered burns over 13 percent of his body after initially running downstairs after waking from his stupor before then returning to try to save his kids.
Before he was sentenced, Lopez was confronted in open court and reprimanded for nearly an hour by his ex-wife, Nikia Lopez — the mother of the victims — before a judge intervened.
According to news footage from the court room, Nikia Lopez described her son’s death in vivid detail.
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Nikia Lopez accused her ex of physically abusing her and straying.
“I’ll never forgive you for what you did to your children,” she shouted, before he responded by calling her a liar.
As he addressed the judge Wednesday, Lopez refused to take responsibility for his children’s deaths. This, the Union-Tribune reports, prompted one of the jurors who convicted him to speak up.
“It happened on your f—ing watch!,” the juror shouted at Lopez.