WARNING: The following story contains graphic content not suitable for all readers
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – He took his friend into a wooded area, beat him in the face with the barrel of a gun and shot him three times.
Then, he left him to die.
Now, 42-year-old Anthony J. Lopez, Jr. will be serving the next 91 years in prison.
An Allen Superior Court judge sentenced Lopez on Tuesday in connection to the April killing of 63-year-old William Jeffrey Kintzel. Lopez had previously been found guilty by a jury of murder, being a felon in possession of a handgun and using a firearm in the commission of a crime after a trial last month.
Kintzel, of South Whitley, was found in a wooded area 20 feet from the sidewalk on McCormick and Birchwood avenues this past April 14, but police believe the killing happened days earlier.
Investigators used various surveillance video to piece together what happened to Kintzel leading up to and after his killing. At almost every step of the way, Lopez and s41-year-old Michael A. Barker – who is also charged in the killing – were caught on camera somehow being involved, according to court documents and court testimony.
Kintzel, Lopez and Barker were all seen on camera inside Kintzel’s SUV leading up to the killing.
A resident’s surveillance camera caught Lopez running from the woods where Kintzel’s body was later found at about the time of the killing, and surveillance footage from south side business captured Barker and Lopez trying to clean up the inside of the SUV with newly bought bleach and wipes, according to court documents.
When they tried to start up the SUV after buying the products from the store, though, they found the key fob used to start the vehicle was still with Kintzer in the woods.
The two then walked away from the SUV, with Lopez ditching his jacket in a dumpster.
During Lopez’s trial, a coroner testified that with his wounds, Kintzel could only live a half hour to an hour more as he struggled on the ground.
He was shot three times, twice in the back with one of those bullets puncturing his lung and a third ripping through his leg, they said.
Barker is facing felony counts of felony murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. A trial for him has yet to be scheduled.