DES MOINES, Iowa — A Clive man was officially sentenced to life in prison Friday for the murder of his girlfriend’s toddler.
Joe Lopez was convicted of first degree murder on May 18th in the 2014 death of 20-month-old Ruby Alvarez. He was also found guilty of child endangerment resulting in death. It was Lopez’ second trial after the first was declared a mistrial due to statements made by the victim’s mother on the stand.
Friday a judge sentenced Lopez to the mandatory penalty for first degree murder in Iowa — life in prison.
During the trial Lopez claimed Alvarez was injured when she fell from a high chair. Multiple doctors said her fractured skull and rib injuries did not match up with falling from a high chair. The medical examiner who performed an autopsy also reported seeing signs of abuse.