Suspect Charged With First Degree Murder in the Death of Kristin - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Suspect Charged With First Degree Murder in the Death of Kristina Lopez

By: Alexa Williams
NewsWest 9

PECOS - On Sunday, Pecos Police were called out to Kristina Lopez's apartment for a suicide and that's where they found Lopez's body. However, we're learning more information behind the investigation and now police say foul play could have been involved.

"The officers saw large amounts of blood in the apartment that had been cleaned up and felt that it was not a suicide as it had been previously reported and that's when the investigators were called," Pecos Police Chief, Clay McKinney, said.

Kristina Lopez was a mother of three and now Michael Pena is behind bars for first degree murder and tampering with evidence. 

"Michael Pena became a person of interest to the police immediately because besides Miss Lopez he was the only adult in the apartment," McKinney said.

According to the arrest affidavit, Pena claimed in his first interview that, "he and Lopez were arguing" and said, "she produced a knife and cut his forehead and hands" but he claimed, "the altercation was not that serious and he later went to sleep on the couch."

But just a few days later, Pena's story changed. According to official documents in another interview, Pena claimed, "there was a fight that caused Lopez to lose a lot of blood," he then said, "she later died in the bathroom."

Pena told police another time, "he was only trying to defend himself " but he claimed, "he never stabbed her."

But Lopez's child told another story. She was there and said, "her mother told Pena to stop, she then watched him go into the kitchen and grab a knife." The daughter also told police that, "Pena hit her mom in the head with an object and he later took her into the bathroom" and that's where she claimed "he cut her in the bathtub."

First degree murder wasn't the only thing Pena was charged with. He was also charged with tampering with evidence. According to documents, police say at the crime scene, "it looked like it blood had tried to be cleaned up."  

In official documents Pena admits to cleaning up blood but he said, "it was only because he thought if police saw the blood, they would think it was his fault."

The autopsy that was conducted on Wednesday showed Kristina Lopez died from several stab wounds.