Lawrence Man Sentenced to 15 to 18 Years in 2009 Killing of Chinese Food Delivery Man
Daniel Lee Lopez, Jr., 24, was found guilty by a jury today in Salem Superior Court of involuntary manslaughter and unarmed robbery in the July 30, 1999 killing of Thu Nguyen, 59, in Lawrence. He was found not guilty on the felony murder charge. His co-defendant, Ronny Ramos, 20, was found not guilty of the unarmed robbery charge against him.
Judge David Lowy sentenced Lopez to 15 to 18 years in state prison followed by 5 years of probation. While on probation, Mr. Lopez must stay away and have no contact with the victim’s family. Essex Assistant District Attorney Jay Gubitose recommended that Lopez be sentenced to life for the armed robbery. “In its wisdom, the Legislature recognized that some unarmed robberies deserve life in prison and I would argue that this is one of them,” Gubitose said. Nguyen’s daughter Candy gave a powerful victim impact statement to the court prior to sentencing.
Gubitose proved that Lopez called the Evergreen Restaurant on July 30, 2009 and placed an order for Chinese food with the intention of robbing the delivery man. After arriving at 230 Osgood Street in Lawrence, Thu Nguyen ascended the stairs, Lopez struck him in the head, causing him to fall backwards onto the sidewalk. Lopez then went through his pockets and took his money and the food. Nguyen was taken to Lawrence General Hospital and transferred to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he died the next day.
“The inhumanity of the actions of the defendant is still shocking,” said District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. “No sentence could ever alleviate the pain and suffering of the Nguyen family. I commend Candy for her courageous and brave impact statement.”
Gubitose was second seated by Essex Assistant District Attorney David O’Sullivan and Nguyen’s family was provided services and support from Essex Victim Witness Advocates Fay Ciaramitaro and Lyndsay Shaheen. Gubitose praised the work of Massachusetts State Police detective Trooper Bob LaBarge and Lawrence Police detectives for their work on the investigation.
During jury selection, Cesar Jimenez, Lopez’s mother’s boyfriend was arrested for witness intimidation after he was overheard calling one of the witnesses “a snitch” in Spanish. He was arraigned on September 25 on a witness intimidation charge and was held on $10,000 and ordered to stay away from Salem Superior Court. His next court date is October 16th for a pre-trial hearing.