Second suspect arrested in 1998 Lubbock homicide

Second suspect arrested in 1998 Lubbock homicide

Updated:
LUBBOCK, Texas -

update 6/21/19  Investigators have arrested the second suspect wanted for a man's death in Lubbock in 1998.

Gabriel Lopez, 41, pictured on the right, is charged with the manslaughter of Jessie Ordonez. He was arrested in the 200 block of 36th Street Thursday night, with multiple agencies involved. 

He died 21 years ago, after a New Year's Eve party. Gabriel's brother Lee Lopez, pictured left, was arrested in Idaho Wednesday. He will be extradited to Lubbock soon.

Investigators say the pair beat Ordonez and left him lying in the front yard. He died at the hospital.

This is the second time the Lopez brothers have been named suspects in this case. A grand jury failed to indict them in 2007. 

According to an arrest warrant, detectives submitted a fingernail clipping from Ordonez, along with DNA from Lee Lopez. Investigators spoke with the suspect's cousin, who admitted he was at the party that night.

Shortly after the creation of the Lubbock Metropolitan Special Crimes Unit, members of the unit started reviewing the case. Investigators re-interviewed people associated with the investigation and traveled to Idaho to question potential witnesses and suspects, according to a news release.

According to an arrest warrant, one of those witnesses was Lee and Gabriel's cousin. He told investigators he saw the brothers kick Ordonez three or four times and described him as being "out" on the ground. He said it was one of the "worst fights he had ever seen". 

When investigators spoke with Lee Lopez, he admitted to fighting with Ordonez and when asked about what he thought when he found out he died, the suspect paused for a longtime and said "it happened." 

Ordonez died of blunt force trauma to the head. Investigators believe the autopsy is consistent with witness statements. 

 

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