Ashley Espinoza, a spokeswoman for the Corrections Department, said Wednesday that Lopez was eligible for “good time” and received credit for the 493 days she served at the Doña Ana County Detention Center while awaiting trial.
After her release, Lopez immediately began serving two years of parole in another — undisclosed — state through an interstate compact agreement, Espinoza said.
Orlando on Wednesday said she “lived the Baby Brianna case from the day that it happened” until the trial in September 2003.“You had a courtroom that was completely backing those defendants,” she said, recalling the trial. They had killed her, they had put a cage over her gravesite so people couldn’t go and put balloons or flowers, so they had isolated her in death, and now she was alone through the trial. It just broke your heart.”One portion of the trial that Orlando remembers well was Martinez’s closing argument, in which she pointed out every one of Brianna’s injuries.
“The look on the jurors’ faces and the tears that were coming down their eyes were unforgettable,” she said.
Brianna’s father, paternal grandmother and two of her uncles also were convicted in the child’s death, following a joint trial that spanned two weeks in Albuquerque.
Brianna’s death on July 19, 2002, is believed to be one of the worst cases of child abuse cases in New Mexico.
I don't remember.”“Finally, (Steven Lopez) proceeded to talk about the number of beers he had consumed, and he then said he could not remember starting a sex act with Baby Briana (sic), but he remembered stopping because he realized what he was doing was wrong,” the court documents state.
Stephanie Lopez, meanwhile, told detectives that Walters had thrown Brianna several days before the child’s death."She should not be walking the streets, of this state or anywhere else.”Lopez received the maximum prison sentence allowed by state law at the time of Brianna’s death, but Martinez said, “It should be greater than that.” She also suggested she would continue to seek changes in the Baby Brianna's namesake law to impose 30-year sentences for defendants convicted of intentional child abuse resulting in death in all cases involving children younger than 18.“That’s why I fought for it when I was governor, and I’m fighting for it again, to include all children,” she said.“Children are anyone under 18, not (just) children under the age of 13.”Susan Riedel and Amy Orlando, who spoke to the Sun-News on Wednesday, helped Martinez prosecute the five defendants in the Baby Brianna case.Once he completed the photographs, Wright said he interviewed Walters and Steven Lopez, describing their demeanor as “deceptive.”Walters' “answers and emotions did not fit what had happened to Brianna,” Wright said.“He didn’t seem distressed and was not asking if she was OK.”During questioning at the sheriff’s office, Walters told detectives he woke up around 10 a.m.He shared one bedroom with Stephanie Lopez, Brianna, her 18-month-old brother, and Steven Lopez.