Maria De Jesus Lopez, 45 (photo), was sentenced to six months in prison on Tuesday for her role in helping her own daughter and her friend finish the body of their child, three-year-old Kimberly Lopez
The grandmother of a three-year-old girl who was tortured to death has been sentenced to six months in prison for helping her daughter and her boyfriend to remove the child's body.
Maria De Jesus Lopez, 45, was convicted on Tuesday after he was guilty in March of one conspiracy crime to destroy and hide evidence, prosecutor Gregory D. Totten said in a statement.
& # 39; Kimberly & # 39; s death was the result of child abuse inflicted by her mother Mayra Chavez in June 2015, & # 39; said Totten.
& # 39; When Kimberly discovered the death of Kimberly, she helped Chavez and Omar Lopez hide the death of Kimberly by lending the couple her car and giving them money so that they could find the remains of Kimberly in Tijuana, Mexico throw away.
& # 39; Over the next 15 months, Lopez Chavez and Omar Lopez also helped with the authorities hiding Kimberly's death. & # 39;
Mrs. Lopez will also be placed on the formal trial for three years after her release.
& # 39; Kimberly's death was the result of child abuse inflicted on her mother Mayra Chavez in June 2015 & # 39 ;, said prosecutor Gregory D. Totten. & # 39; After learning about Kimberly's death, Mrs. Lopez Chavez and Omar Lopez assisted in covering Kimberly's death by lending the couple her car and giving them money to take Kimberly's remains in Tijuana , Mexico could remove & # 39;
Mayra Chavez (left) had lost custody of her daughter several times before killing her daughter. In March, Chavez was found guilty of second-degree murder and torture, after Omar Lopez (right), Kimberly & # 39; s father, testified of the murders.
Chavez, 27, previously lost custody of her daughter Kimberly several times in the past due to allegations of abuse and drug addiction.
But when she finally got permission to visit her daughter again with the supervision of Kimberly & # 39; s father, Omar Lopez, 33, Chavez abused her daughter, the court said.
Kimberly was last seen during a social worker visit just before her third birthday, in Oxnard, California, in June 2015.
The three-year-old then seemed to disappear completely, which prompted the police to investigate the girl's whereabouts in September 2016.
Although the toddler's body was never found, Chavez was found guilty of her second-degree murder after a twisted testimony from the victim's father.
They also found Chavez guilty of a crime attack on a child who caused death and torture, the last of which was based on the allegations of physical violence in 2013.
During his testimony, Omar Lopez gave jury members a detailed account of Chavez & # 39; s evil and abusive treatment of their daughter, and said the fatal incident occurred when the mother pulled the girl's legs from under her to change a diaper , which hit her head and suffered two attacks, as reported by the Ventura County Star.
Instead of seeking medical assistance, the couple drove to Tijuana, Mexico, put their daughter's body in a blue plastic bag and buried her in a shallow hole.
Worried that her body would be found, the couple returned a few weeks later to dig up their daughter's body to dissolve it in bleach.
They then spread what was left behind in different places in the city, Omar Lopez said.
During the Chavez trial, Omar Lopez explained how Chavez pulled the (pictured) feet of Kimberly from below, causing her to hit her head on the floor and get two attacks. Instead of asking for medical help, the pair drove to Tijuana and buried the three-year-old in a shallow grave
John Barrick, senior deputy public prosecutor, said during the court case against Chavez: “So much of a trial is about the crimes that the defendant committed.
& # 39; This for me – the most important thing, apart from getting justice for Kimberly – I really want everyone to know what her parents have done to her.
& # 39; It was so important to all of us that everyone knows what her life looked like. & # 39;
& # 39; I will not forget her & # 39 ;, Barrick said.
Omar Lopez was also accused of second-degree murder and initially pleaded not guilty.
He later agreed to testify at Chavez's trial in exchange for a plea agreement with the public prosecutor.
In addition to detailing the murder, Omar Lopez also described Chavez's troubling history of abuse of their daughter.
He said that Chavez regularly hit Kimberly, sometimes because he did not eat fast enough and sketched other punishments that became more serious over time.
The child's father said the girl was also regularly punished for crying – something Omar Lopez said Kimberly did almost every time she approached Chavez & # 39; s house.
Kimberly even got cold showers, Omar Lopez said. He also said that during & # 39; timeouts & # 39; had to be pulled over her face with a beanie for hours.
Omar Lopez pleaded guilty to crime child in danger. He could be imprisoned for up to 14 years, with his hearing on May 20.
During the trial, Michael Albers – Chavez's lawyer – admitted to jury members that his client and Omar Lopez, were responsible for their daughter's death, but said the nature of their crimes did not constitute a murder sentence.
He told jurors that Chavez struggled with depression and had a history of drug addiction.
Corina Wondoloski, an investigator in the district attorney's office, described the case as heartbreaking.
She said: & # 39; It culminated in her murder, but in reality her life broke my heart more than her death because her life was so painful. & # 39;
Chavez & # 39; s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 30, where she sees the prison as a possibility to detain the rest of her life.
As part of the grandmother's probationary period, Mrs Lopez has been instructed not to have contact with Chavez and is not allowed to associate with children under the age of 18 unless in the presence of a responsible adult who has been approved by the probation officer.
The child's father said the girl was also regularly punished for crying – something Omar Lopez said Kimberly did almost every time she approached Chavez & # 39; s house