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Suffocation Murder of Wife Sends South Valley Man to Prison for 25 Years

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Victor Lopez of Porterville was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Thursday for suffocating his wife to death in November 2018.

Victor Lopez of Porterville

Victor Lopez received a sentence of 25 years to life in prison for the first-degree murder of his wife. (Tulare County DA’s Office)

The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office announced the sentence in a news release.

A jury convicted Lopez, 37, on Nov. 16 of first-degree murder and felony domestic violence after a trial lasting several days.

Wife’s Co-Workers Asked Deputies to Check on Her

According to court documents, Samantha Quintanar-Lopez’s co-workers asked deputies to conduct a welfare check when she failed to show up to work on Nov. 27, 2018.

When deputies arrived at the couple’s residence, Lopez told them his wife had left the previous night following an argument.

However, when deputies checked again later in the day, Lopez barricaded himself and the family’s three children inside the residence. Lopez then fled through a window only to be quickly captured.

A search of the residence led deputies to a pile of blankets covering the body of Quintanar-Lopez, 31. A green plastic covered her head.

Senior deputy DA Kirk Davis prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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