A man found guilty of killing a 23-year-old woman last year and who was accused of threatening witnesses in the case was sentenced to 40 years in prison Friday.
Joe Angel Lopez, 20, a Fort Worth gang member, was convicted Wednesday in the fatal shooting of Bianca Jimenez on April 24, 2016.
A few days after the killing, Lopez told a witness, “you know what happens to snitches, they end up in ditches,” according to court documents. The witness was later repeatedly asked, “You don’t know anything, right?”
The threats came again last month, according to court documents.
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An arsonist burned a different witness’s car June 15, and an attempt was made to set fire to a home of yet another witness June 20, the documents said.
Jimenez was killed after a dispute between her ex-boyfriend and Lopez in a neighborhood on Selene Street in north Fort Worth, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Lopez was arrested a few days after the shooting, and then was released on $45,000 bail.
The arrest warrant affidavit provided these details on the shooting:
A friend of Jimenez’s told Detective J.T. Rhoden that she and Jimenez, who had been drinking at a bar, drove to the home of Jimenez’s ex-boyfriend, Joseph David Rodriguez, in the 1400 block of Selene Street on the morning of April 24, 2016.
After Jimenez keyed his car, she blew the horn until Rodriguez came out, and then drove away. Rodriguez jumped into his girlfriend’s vehicle and chased Jimenez and her friend through the neighborhood.
The friend said that as they drove around, someone fired a shot at them. Rodriguez later told his girlfriend that he only pointed a gun at Jimenez.
Jimenez and her friend went back to Rodriguez’s home, passing Lopez in a car on the street. Lopez leaned out of a window and began arguing with Jimenez, the friend told the detective.
Lopez got out, walked up to Jimenez’s vehicle and told Jimenez not to come back to that street or he would shoot her. Lopez got back into his vehicle, according to the affidavit
The friend told the detective that Jimenez said something like “whatever,” and a shot was fired from Lopez’s vehicle.
Police found Jimenez lying in the street with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. She died a few hours later at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.
Lopez also faces a charge of delivery/manufacturing of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), according to court records. The case is pending.
Court documents say Lopez has a drug problem, and that he possessed, sold and ingested methamphetamine on a daily basis before Jimenez was killed. Lopez continued to be involved with the drug after getting released from jail in May 2016, according to the documents.
This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives