Jul 27, 2014

Woman Charged with Murder Tuesday in Church Graffiti Killing

Janeth Lopez pleaded "not guilty" to murder and other counts in Los Angeles Superior Court. The shooter of 25-year-old Andres Ordonez remains at large.

Woman Charged with Murder Tuesday in Church Graffiti Killing

A woman was charged Tuesday with murder and other counts  stemming from last week's shooting death of a man outside a church in the Westlake district of Los Angeles, where she was allegedly spray-painting red graffiti.

Janeth Lopez, 22, pleaded not guilty Tuesday afternoon in Los Angeles Superior Court in connection with the Nov. 4 slaying of Andres Ordonez, 25, outside the Iglesia Principe de Paz church in the 3000 block of West Beverly Boulevard.

According to KPCC, Lopez was taken into custody on Thursday on a probation violation. She had been deemed to be a person of interest in the case.

KPCC says she is not charged with shooting Ordonez, but faces murder charges stemming from her presence at the scene.

The Rampart detective assigned to the case said leads from the community led to Lopez's arrest.

Along with murder, Lopez is charged with two counts of attempted murder--one involving a second male church member who was wounded and the other involving a man who was fired upon but not struck--and one misdemeanor count of vandalism.

Lopez was ordered to remain jailed on $2.5 million bail pending her next court appearance Dec. 4.

If convicted, she faces up to life in prison, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Police said Ordonez, who worked as a cook, and the wounded victim emerged from the storefront church about 6:20 p.m. to try to stop a woman from spray painting graffiti on a wall when a gunman -- who is still being sought -- got out of a vehicle and opened fire.

Lopez allegedly jumped in a waiting vehicle with the gunman, also believed to be a gang member, and a possible third person, and fled after the shooting.

Ordonez's widow, who is three months pregnant with their second child, told reporters last week that she had been sitting in a car in a parking lot by the church, not feeling well.

Anna Ordonez, who is a granddaughter of the church's pastor, said her husband came upon the tagger around the time he was coming out to check on her.

The Los Angeles City Council a week ago unanimously approved a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman.

A sign at the church identified it as part of the Movimiento Pentocostal Hispano. Its congregation is composed mostly of Guatemalan and Central American immigrants.

A fund at Bank of America is accepting donations to help the Ordonez family.

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