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Stabbing suspect considers plea offer

Posted: Tuesday, Aug 6th, 2013

Ryan Lopez

Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — A man accused of stabbing a 24-year-old woman with a letter opener will have the chance to plead guilty to a lesser offense.

Prosecutors have offered to dismiss first-degree assault and criminal impersonation charges against Ryan Antonio Lopez if the 30-year-old man pleads guilty to attempted first-degree assault. In exchange for his plea, they’ll also support his request to reduce his bond from $150,000 to $50,000 cash or surety.

Their offer will remain open for 60 days after Lopez’s first appearance in district court, subject to further negotiations.

The sheriff’s office arrested Lopez on May 4, following a report of a stabbing on Alamosa County Road 6 South.

When an Alamosa County Sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene, he noticed that a Colorado State Patrol trooper was struggling with a man who appeared to be having a seizure.

However, an emergency medical technician who examined the man believed the suspect was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and a subsequent breath test confirmed that he had been drinking.

At first, the man identified himself as “Shawn Black.”

But the trooper had reason to doubt that the man was telling him the truth. According to the trooper’s report, the name “LOPEZ” is clearly tattooed onto the nape of the man’s neck.

The name stood out to the trooper, so he tried again to verify the suspect’s true identity.

Once again, the man reported that his name was Shawn Black. But the sheriff’s office positively identified him as Lopez.

The suspect declined to waive his Miranda rights after the sheriff’s office took him into custody. As a result, the official report on the incident does not include his version of what allegedly happened that evening.

However, deputies were able to piece their report together based on statements of three other people who were traveling with Lopez.

One of those people, victim Amber Garcia, reported that Lopez was angry because he believed that someone had stolen his shirt.

It’s unclear if Lopez thought that Garcia had anything to do with the shirt’s disappearance.

Other details of the moments leading up to the alleged stabbing are also fuzzy, but all three witnesses alleged that Lopez stabbed Garcia.

The victim, who was sitting in the front passenger seat at the time, reported that she was hit in the neck and on the back of her head. At some point, she blacked out, and she said she could not remember what happened next.

But the driver of the vehicle and a third passenger both reported that Lopez stabbed Garcia with a blade of some kind.

The driver said he stopped the car and tried to defend Garcia, as Lopez continued to jab the blade in her direction.

When Garcia woke up, she realized that she’d been stabbed on the right side of her chest.

Paramedics who arrived at the scene rushed her to the emergency room at San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center.

The attending nurse reported that Garcia had been stabbed in the neck and the chest. The blade punctured one of her lungs, which collapsed.

A physician who treated Garcia determined that she sustained serious bodily injury as a result of the alleged attack.

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