I originally posted about the bizarre craigslist killing of 19-year-old Natalie Bollinger of Broomfield, Colorado, here. It’s alleged that Natalie was despondent and suicidal, according to her friends, and she took out an on craigslist looking for a hitman to kill her. 22-year-old Joseph Michael Lopez is said to have responded to the ad posing as a hitman and shot Natalie in the back of the head.
Now, it’s being reported that Lopez has been offered a plea deal against the wishes of Natalie’s family. Lopez is expected to plead guilty to 2nd-degree murder with a 50-year sentence and a possibility for parole. Natalie’s family is not having it…
“We said no and they still offered it to him today. Our family does not agree with this or is willing to do any plea bargain. I’m dumbfounded. I’m so disappointed in the legal system in Adams County,” said Ted Bollinger, Natalie’s father.
Can you blame him? If this was my daughter I’d be pushing for a death sentence which Colorado has only used once since it was reinstated in 1974.
In my opinion, Lopez should receive at least a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Even if the hitman story is true, just because someone who may be suicidal asks you to kill them, obviously, doesn’t mean you should. It takes a depraved indifference to just callously kill a complete stranger that you met through craigslist. And again, if craigslist actually moderated their site, if Natalie did place an ad it would never have come to Lopez’s attention.
I’m curious as to why the state is offering Lopez a plea deal. I guess the story is strange enough that it could possibly cast a modicum of reasonable doubt onto a jury.
Lopez is expected to enter his plea on December 3rd.