Man Convicted in Stabbing after Fifteen Years on the Run

Francisco Loyola Lopez, 39, of Conover, was given an active prison term of 31 to 47 months following his conviction for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury from a 2003 offense during Catawba County Superior Court on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

The Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, imposed the sentence for Lopez after he entered a guilty plea to the charge.

Lopez will serve his sentence in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections. At the completion of his prison term, Lopez will be deported to Mexico.

The offense occurred on July 11, 2003. Lopez and two other men had been drinking that night. At some point, Lopez was found hanging off the edge of a highway overpass by the two men. They were able to get him back to the residence where the men were staying for his safety.

Later that night, the two men checked on a disturbance coming from inside the home where Lopez was staying. As one of the men opened the front door, Lopez stabbed him in the chest, causing substantial injuries that resulted in hospitalization at two medical facilities.

Lopez fled and made his way into Mexico, avoiding apprehension for nearly 15 years. When he tried to enter back into the United States on February 2, 2018, agents with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in Arizona apprehended him. He was extradited back to Catawba County later that month and has been incarcerated since that time.

The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, and Assistant District Attorney Sean Baetjer handled prosecution for the State.

CONTACT: Nathan Key
Phone: 828-695-6193