CA - Roman Anthony Lopez, 11, found deceased, poisoned , Placerville, 11 Jan 2020 *arrests*

Seattle1

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5/16/22

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During court proceedings Monday in Placerville Lindsay Piper pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in the death of her 11-year-old stepson Roman Lopez, according to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.
Roman was reported missing in January 2020, then found deceased in the Coloma Street rental house his father Jordan Piper, stepmother Lindsay and seven other children were staying in.

Lindsay is scheduled to be sentenced July 8. Her not-guilty plea to child abuse and torture charges remains.

The Pipers have been in custody facing murder charges since February 2021 as suspects in the January 2020 death of Lopez, who was found dead in the basement of the family’s Placerville home.
[..]

For more than a year no information was released by police as they conducted their investigation. That all changed Feb. 4, 2021, when Placerville Police Chief Joseph Wren announced Jordan and Lindsay were arrested in Calaveras County on suspicion of child abuse and torture.

Wren said the case involved the analysis of forensic evidence. He said the department seized electronic devices, reviewed data and worked with medical professionals and experts in the child abuse field.

Charges filed against Jordan, 36, and Lindsay, 38, by the DA include torture and child abuse “under circumstances or conditions likely to produce great bodily injury or death.” Jordan was also charged with failure to provide for a child while Lindsay was charged with the crime of poisoning.

“Lindsay Marie Piper willfully and unlawfully mingled a poison and harmful substance with food, drink, medicine and pharmaceutical product,” according to the criminal complaint filed by the DA.

In November the District Attorney’s Office was able to add a murder charge against each of the Pipers following interviews with other children who were living at the Coloma Street house.
 

susiQ

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“Why, therefore, would the defendant choose to plead no contest rather than guilty? In a felony case, there is no meaningful distinction between a no contest plea and a guilty plea except for the words used.

The fact that the defendant pled no contest to a felony can be used against a defendant her in subsequent civil or administrative proceedings.

In felony cases, therefore, a no contest plea just like a guilty plea is an admission of criminal liability. This becomes important because the burden of proof in civil cases is lower than that in criminal cases.

By admitting criminal liability based on a certain set of facts, the defendant is implicitly admitting also that civil liability could be found based on the same facts.”

 

californiagem

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Will Jordan do the same?
I hope so. I think it will depend on how much time the state will offer with the plea deal and if Jordan's lawyers think they can beat that deal by pinning everything on the wife in a trial.
I really want to see what the evidence is against them. I'm always curious if a deal was made because the state has so much evidence a defendant feels feels they will lose or if the state offers a deal because they feel trial is risky. I know its always risky , but just how risky.
 

Knox

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I hope so. I think it will depend on how much time the state will offer with the plea deal and if Jordan's lawyers think they can beat that deal by pinning everything on the wife in a trial.
I really want to see what the evidence is against them. I'm always curious if a deal was made because the state has so much evidence a defendant feels feels they will lose or if the state offers a deal because they feel trial is risky. I know its always risky , but just how risky.
I've wondered where some of the evidence came from - example Lindsey being charged with poisoning, but not Jordan. IMO, much of this came from the minors who also lived in the home. So will we ever see some of the information in this case?
 

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I am actually a bit surprised that she plead guilty to anything! Thankful the other children may be spared the trial
I was especially surprised that LP plead guilty to 2nd-degree murder since the evidence for murder appears to be based on other children's testimony. I question how strong this evidence is since the murder charge was delayed until November. o_O
A reporter asked about the lack of murder charges at the press conference and Chief Wren alluded to the DA charged what his office can prove. I think the autopsy was probably inconclusive and they've probably been working on toxicology for more than a year to make these charges.

“We have the evidence that proves the crimes beyond reasonable doubt,” Wren said.

Parents charged with abuse, poisoning in 11-year-old's death ^^bbm
 

Niner

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Tuesday, May 24th:
*Hearing (@ 9am PT) - CA – Roman Anthony Lopez (11) (last seen Saturday morning Jan. 11, 2020, found later in evening dead in a storage bin in the basement, Placerville) – death is being investigated as suspicious. *Lindsay Marie Piper (38/now 39) “stepmother” arrested (2/3/21), charged (2/4/21) & arraigned (2/9/21) with 1 count of willful cruelty to child possible injury/death & causing cruel & extreme pain for revenge & extortion of sadistic purpose, 1 count of torture & 1 count of willful poisoning/etc. food/etc. Plead not guilty. $1.3M bond.
Additional charge (10/29/21) & arraigned (11/19/21) of murder. Plead not guilty. Changed plea (5/16/22) to no contest.
Piper willfully & unlawfully mingled a poison & harmful substance with food, drink, medicine & pharmaceutical product & placed a poison & harmful substance in a spring, well, reservoir & public water supply.
Only for *Jordon Thomas Piper (35/now 36) “father” arrested (2/3/21), charged (2/4/21) & arraigned (2/9/21) with 1 count of child abuse likely to cause injury or death & causing cruel & extreme pain for revenge, extortion or sadistic purpose, 1 count of torture & 1 count with willfully failing to provide food, shelter & medical attention to the child. Plead not guilty. $1.05M bond.
Additional charge (10/29/21) & arraigned (11/19/21) of murder. Plead not guilty.
Info on crime, where children are & court info from 2/4/21 to 12/17/21 reference post #921 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...lacerville-11-jan-2020-arrests.496688/page-47

1/24/22 Update: The attorney for Lindsay Piper said they are working on a resolution for her case. The attorney for Jordan Piper didn't add anything. That's about all that happened. The pre preliminary has been continued to 2/28/22.
2/28/22 Update: Hearing was held (very short). DA Linden asked for a preliminary to be set. Next preliminary hearings from 5/17/22 to 5/19/22.
5/16/22 Update: Lindsey Piper changed her plea from not guilty to no contest to 2nd degree murder. Lindsay is scheduled to be sentenced 7/8/22 & faces 15 years to life in prison. Her not guilty plea to child abuse & torture charges remains. Jordan Piper is expected to return to court 5/24/22.
 

realanastasia

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@realanastasia - any news on yesterday's hearing for Jordan? Did he too plead guilty??!! Or does he have new court hearing dates yet?

TIA!
Unfortunately the Case Lookup tool isn’t working—the Case Index is “temporarily unavailable.” I’ve tried to get into it other ways, but haven’t had any luck finding other engines to search upcoming court dates in El Dorado County. I am posting the link below and will check again in a day or two to see if it’s back up.

Case Index | Superior Court of California | County of El Dorado
 

Seattle1

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@realanastasia - any news on yesterday's hearing for Jordan? Did he too plead guilty??!! Or does he have new court hearing dates yet?

TIA!

Unfortunately the Case Lookup tool isn’t working—the Case Index is “temporarily unavailable.” I’ve tried to get into it other ways, but haven’t had any luck finding other engines to search upcoming court dates in El Dorado County. I am posting the link below and will check again in a day or two to see if it’s back up.

Case Index | Superior Court of California | County of El Dorado
Although the local Placerville newspaper is only published weekly (Mountain Democrat), I find they typically report the details we seek. If nobody picked up on Jordan's hearing and something happened, they will report it. (Also, since the El Dorado County court site can be funky, the editor of the Mountain Democrat has been known to go direct to the Clerks Desk for copies of the docs). MOO
 

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A refresher on Jordan Piper and his defense from last November 2021:

UPDATED NOVEMBER 19, 2021 1:22 PM

Deputy District Attorney Jay Linden said in court Friday that the decision to add the murder charge was based on new interviews with children who lived in the family’s home at the time of Roman’s death. The Pipers were caring for seven other children in their Placerville home on Coloma Street when Roman was reported missing.

Tasha Paris Chalfant, a Rocklin-based defense attorney who has been hired to represent Jordan Piper, objected to the prosecution’s request to add the murder charge. She told the judge it was inappropriate timing — nearly two years after the boy’s death and the start of the homicide investigation — for the prosecutor to add the most serious charge her client can face.

Chalfant argued the prosecution’s investigators have had all this time to conduct interviews and gather evidence in this case. She said in court that she questions the “credibility” of these interviews with witnesses who have been questioned by authorities three times. The defense attorney argued that it’s “not reliable” that these interviews have resulted in any new evidence.


[..]

Linden told the judge that the interviews were conducted in the past month when the children were no longer under the control of the Pipers. Linden said about the interviews “it’s not like the District Attorney’s Office has been sitting on them.”

[..]

The Pipers have already been charged with child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury or death and causing cruel and extreme pain for revenge, extortion or sadistic purpose, according to the initial criminal complaint filed in February.

Jordan Piper has been charged with an additional count of willfully failing to provide food, clothing, shelter and medical attention to the boy.


 
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