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Santa Barbara man pleads not guilty to murder, child abuse charges of 3-year-old girl

Santa Barbara police
Posted at 5:05 PM, Feb 15, 2023

Santa Barbara County District Attorney John Savrnoch announced charges Wednesday against 24-year-old Elvis Alberto Lopez of Santa Barbara.

On February 4, Santa Barbara Police responded to a 911 call for a medical emergency at 1:33 p.m. at home in Santa Barbara.

When first responders arrived, initial reports were that a 3-year-old girl had fallen out of her bed injuring herself. Fire and medical personnel attended to the child, performing CPR. She was transported to Cottage Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Upon further investigation, detectives gathered evidence and determined the case was a homicide.

Police identified the suspect as 24-year-old Elvis Alberto Lopez, the boyfriend of the girl's mother. He was arrested on Feb. 11.

For this incident, Lopez is charged with the murder of the 3-year-old girl, whose identity is not being released. Those charges include one count of murder and one count of assault on a child causing death.

Lopez is also facing charges of four counts of child abuse. According to the District Attorney's Office, the charges stem from incidents that happened around Feb. 2, 2023, and between Sept 1, 2022, and Feb. 1, 2023.

Lopez is also charged with having been previously convicted of a serious and violent felony, or "strike" offense.

Lopez was arraigned Wednesday and entered pleas of not guilty and denied all special allegations. His bail is set at $4,000,000.00, up one million dollars compared to a press release from Tuesday.

A preliminary hearing is set for March 2.