Laredo man gets life in prison after pleading guilty to capital murder of family of 4, including baby

On a day when Mexicans celebrate Mother’s Day, one of them received justice for a horrific crime in 2020 that saw her and her three children killed.

Samuel Enrique Lopez pleaded guilty to the capital murder of multiple people and the capital murder of a person under the age of 10 on Tuesday in the 406th District Court for Webb County, led by Judge Oscar J. Hale Jr.

On April 13, 2020, Lopez fatally stabbed a mother and two of her children before later suffocating a 2-year-old boy and dumping his body in an empty lot.

Lopez was only 20 when the attack happened. The now 22-year-old will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.


The courtroom

Lopez pleaded guilty in front of a courtroom that contained both families of the victim and the attacker.

Julian Saracho Sr., father of the murdered family, provided a statement that his attorneys read in Spanish and English to the court which spoke directly to Lopez.

Saracho was not at home at the time of the attack.

“I’m writing this letter to express myself and how I feel,” Saracho said. “I won’t even write your name because you’re not even worth my time. You can’t even begin to understand what you’ve taken from me. I wanted at least 30 minutes with you, but I knew the ( district attorney) would not have allowed it.

“I have to wake up every day and realize that my family is not next to me. You have not only murdered four beautiful people, but you have also managed to kill me in life. You are a cowardly taking the lives of innocent people. , and for that I hate you. I hate you for taking away the most important thing in my life. I despise you for taking advantage of the situation and hurting my helpless little boy.

“I know that if I was there at the time you might have killed me, but I can assure you that I would have taken you with me. I find it unfair that you can at least see your family since prison, something that I will never be able to do. I want to make it clear that I have nothing against your family, or your lawyer because it is his job. You are solely responsible for your actions. I know that I shouldn’t wish for this, but i hope prison becomes hell for you, i hope you experience at least half the hell you put my family through.

“You may not have been sentenced to death, but I can assure you that you will suffer and regret your every action.”

Some of the attendees shed tears upon reading the statement.

Background

The victims of the 2020 homicide were Zayra Marlen Fuentes, 33; Lesly Sarahy Hernandez, 18; Pedro Cruz, 12; and Julien Saracho, 2.

On April 16, police responded to an “unknown traffic call” in the 4500 block of Vanessa. Officers discovered blood inside the residence and noticed that the resident family was missing.

A search of the area revealed three bodies in the vacant lot behind the residence. One body was wrapped in a blanket and covered in rocks while the other two were also found wrapped in blankets under a piece of plywood and an old tire, an affidavit of arrest said.

Police are said to identify the victims as Fuentes, Hernandez and Cruz.

Saracho Sr. — Fuentes’ husband and stepfather to Hernandez and Cruz — said Hernandez was dating Lopez from the 4500 block of Santa Inez Lane. He also said Lopez was caught breaking into the residence through a window. Patrol officers were tasked with locating Lopez.

Meanwhile, a detective recovered surveillance video from the area showing a blue four-door vehicle belonging to Lopez. Police said the vehicle arrived around 9 p.m. on April 13 and left around 6:24 a.m. on April 14. Only one person was seen leaving the house and entering the residence. This same person was seen carrying a heavy object and putting it in the car.

Authorities discovered the body of missing 2-year-old boy Julian in an area near Eden Leisure Center after Lopez later confessed to the murders.