ROCKVILLE, Md. – A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty, while maintaining his innocence, to bludgeoning his estranged wife and her 11-year-old son to death in Germantown.
Curtis M. Lopez, 46 faces the possibility of life without parole when he’s sentenced in April in Montgomery County. He pleaded to five charges: two counts of first degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and one count of robbery.
He entered an Alford plea Friday, a type of plea under which a defendant doesn’t admit guilt but acknowledges the state has enough evidence for a conviction.
The Alford plea is also used to avoid harsher sentences.
Lopez had faced the death penalty but prosecutors took that off the table last fall.
“This man should never walk the streets again a free man. He deserves to die in jail,” State’s Attorney John J. McCarthy told reporters after Friday’s hearing.
Lopez wore a green prison jumpsuit and stared at prosecutors as they showed a PowerPoint presentation detailing evidence that he crushed the skulls of Jane McQuain and her son, William, in October 2011.
McQuain was found with head and stab wounds in her home. Her 11-year-old son was found in the woods a few days later, his head beaten with a bat.
Prosecutors said Lopez stole McQuain’s car and items from her Germantown apartment. He was arrested in North Carolina a day after McQuain’s body was found.
Investigators believe Lopez wanted the $80,000 Jane McQuain inherited from an uncle plus an antique Tiffany lamp, McCarthy said.
“His entire goal was merely to come up here, to try to manipulate her out of money and to steal her property,” McCarthy said.