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Jury Seated for Trial of Man Accused of Running over Bicyclist


Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012
Issue 34, Volume 16.
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RIVERSIDE - A jury was seated today for the trial of a 23-year-old motorist accused of chasing and running over a bicyclist with his pickup truck after the victim cut him off.

Anthony Ray Lopez could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder with great bodily injury allegations in the Jan. 15 death of 68-year-old Armando Herman Villalobos.

After a day and a half of screening prospective jurors, Riverside County Superior Court Judge W. Charles Morgan impaneled 14 people -- including two alternates -- to hear evidence in the case. Opening statements are scheduled tomorrow.

Prosecutors allege Lopez, who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside, crushed Villalobos with his Ford F-150 pickup in a rage over being cut off.

A trial brief filed by Deputy District Attorney Edward Hong says Lopez and a friend, Christopher Isenhower, had been drinking at a Corona bar that day and left around 4:30 p.m. after watching a football game.

The men headed east on Magnolia Avenue, and as they approached Windsong Street, Villalobos crossed in front of Lopez's pickup, forcing him to stop abruptly, according to Hong.

He said Villalobos was on his way back to his Home Gardens residence after a trip to the grocery store, with his grocery bags hanging off his handlebars.

Isenhower, 24, later told sheriff's investigators that the victim and defendant exchanged "looks," according to the brief.

Angered, Lopez pursued the bicyclist, yelling and cursing him while following close behind at low speed, trying to elicit a response from Villalobos, who ignored the rant and continued toward his house less than two blocks away, court papers allege.

"As the victim was passing the residence on 3760 Windsong St., the defendant finally drove his truck into the victim's bicycle, 'bumping' the victim's rear tire with the front bumper of the F-150," the brief alleges."Witnesses ... stated that the front part of the victim's bicycle 'jumped' but the victim was able to stay on the bicycle, which was now positioned directly in front of the defendant's F-150. After a momentary pause, the defendant then accelerated the F-150 again, driving the truck directly over the victim."

Villalobos and his bicycle were dragged 30 feet underneath the pickup as Lopez fled, prosecutors allege.

The victim died shortly after arrival at Kaiser Hospital in Riverside.

Lopez dropped Isenhower at home and told him to keep quiet, but after consulting his wife, the witness called sheriff's investigators and detailed everything, the brief alleges.


 

10 comments

Comment Profile ImageIan Cooper
Comment #1 | Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm
Seems to me that Christopher Isenhower's wife is the hero in this story. She convinced her husband to do the right thing even though he must have had enormous pressure on him to keep quiet.
Comment Profile ImageEric W
Comment #2 | Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm
Good for the Isenhowers! Nice to see: good moral advice from a partner. Hopefully justice will be server by doing the right thing here. This was murder, not an "accident" with a truck an a bicycle.
Comment Profile ImageDanielle
Comment #3 | Friday, Aug 24, 2012 at 8:35 am
This was my best friend's father. Please pray that justice be given to his family after all the hardships they have faced this past year. This murder robbed my best friend's family of their last living parent. Please pray for the Villalobos family.
Comment Profile ImageLinda
Comment #4 | Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 8:47 am
Thank you all for your prayers we all appreciate them please keep them coming . Armondo was a peaceful man and we miss him so much . Thanks for your prayers from the Villalobos family
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Comment Profile ImageLinda
Comment #5 | Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm
Verdict was guilty of 1st degree murder thank god . We got justice for armondo we miss him so much . He didn't deserve what this heartless Anthony ray Lopez of Anaheim did to our gentle brother . Armondo is at peace now and thanks to our lord and all the witnesses and prosecutor , investigators , and for all the jurist to give Anthony what he deserves 25 to life .
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Comment Profile ImageLinda
Comment #6 | Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm
Anthony ray Lopez of Anaheim calif is now off the streets he can't do this to anyone else ,he will be locked away for 25 to life and I will sleep better knowing no one else will be his victums
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Comment Profile ImageLinn
Comment #7 | Sunday, Sep 2, 2012 at 7:47 am
And for the record the eisenhowers only came forward not for armondo but to protect Christophers butt they are not heroes . Tell it like it is Christopher should be behind bars as well as Anthony
Comment Profile ImageCam
Comment #8 | Friday, Sep 7, 2012 at 4:26 pm
You got it right Linn. There is no freakin hero in this story. Eisenhower was only covering his a$$. I hope that he is on trial next for his part in this tragedy. It's sad all around. Poor decisions cost a man his life. Anthony R. Lopez has a family too!!!!!!
Comment Profile ImageEddie
Comment #9 | Monday, Sep 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm
There is no hero here b/c the wife was just trying to protect the fact that her husband Chris was just as much at fault as Anthony. Is the DA going after Chris??? That's the real question here because the way I see it their was just more than one at fault here. Why is Anthony the only one taking the blame?
Justice hasn't been served...YET! Chris needs to be prosecuted as well!
Comment Profile Imagelinda
Comment #10 | Saturday, Sep 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm
there may have been 2 in volved but christopher was not the one that put his foot on gas and killed armondo .that was anthony ray lopez of anaheim's decision so in my opinion they got the real killer and i can rest assure knowing that sick guy is off the street and wont do this to anyone else . armondo was my brother and he was a good man and did not deserve what this animal did to him so i only hope anthony ray lopez is in prison for life . we miss armondo everyday

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

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