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Woman who gunned down spouse at Coachella house convicted of murder


A 39-year-old woman who fatally shot her husband during a dispute at their Coachella home was convicted today of murder.   

An Indio jury deliberated less than a day before finding Cindy Gicela Parra Hernandez guilty of the 2022 slaying of Francisco Lopez.   

Along with murder, jurors convicted Hernandez of assault with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily injury and spousal abuse.   

The verdicts were returned to Riverside County Court Superior Court Judge James Hawkins Friday.

The prosecution and defense delivered closing statements Thursday, and Hawkins sent jurors behind closed doors briefly before adjourning proceedings for the day. The jury foreperson announced verdicts before the lunch hour Friday.

The judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 19 at the Larson Justice Center. Hernandez is being held without bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning.

There were conflicting accounts regarding what happened between the defendant and victim, whose relationship was plagued with dissension.   

On the day of the killing, Aug. 7, 2022, the victim -- who had only recently returned to living at home after moving out because of an extramarital affair -- and the defendant had been to a store to purchase items for their business, during which time they argued intensely, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Sheriff's Detective Ricardo Ramirez testified in Hernandez's 2023 preliminary hearing that when he initially interviewed her, she said that she was in the backyard making carnitas with her husband, when he abruptly confronted her with a handgun that he kept in the bedroom. The defendant told the investigator she managed to grab the pistol, then put it back in a drawer.   

She then proceeded to detail different scenarios about what transpired as daybreak approached, Ramirez said, including one in which Lopez pulled the gun away from her after she initially took possession of it and shot himself in the head.

The second scenario was that the defendant maintained control of the firearm and leveled it at Lopez, who told her, "If you have balls, pull the trigger," at which point she shot him in the forehead, the detective said.   

"She said after she called 911, she went back to Francisco's body and placed the handgun ... underneath his hand,'' Ramirez testified.   

Deputies arrived at the couple's home in the 84-000 block of Fiesta Road shortly after 5 a.m. to investigate reports of a shooting and found Lopez dead from the head wound.

Hernandez was questioned at the scene and later at the sheriff's Thermal station, culminating in her arrest the same day.   

She had no documented prior felony convictions. However, according to the prosecution's trial brief, there had been assault allegations against her in 2022 after she struck her husband with a vehicle during a driveway squabble, causing him to roll completely over the car and land on his face.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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