Thursday, December 11, 2008

Anger run amok

Good job Kevin O'Connell and the Bexar County DA's Office.

Nice line in closing argument, Kevin, keep up the good work.
Man gets 50 years for killing his dad
By Graeme Zielinski - Express-News

Prosecutor Kevin O'Connell had summed up the fatal shooting of a father at the hands of his son with a statement not likely to generate much disagreement from any corner of the courtroom.
“This is about anger run amok. This is about a dysfunctional family that finally hit its boiling point. This is not ‘The Brady Bunch,'” O'Connell said.

No, it was “The Lopintos,” and on Wednesday a Bexar County jury of seven women and five men found the son guilty of slaying the father.
David Lopinto, 29, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for murdering 58-year-old Charles Lopinto and to 15 years for shooting at his stepmother, Jocelyn Lopinto, 35.

It looked like a cut-and-dried case, with an abundant trove of video surveillance cameras and 911 calls capturing the sounds and sights surrounding the Aug. 31, 2007, shooting at the family's home in the 5500 block of Castle Night Drive.
But the jury deliberated from Tuesday into Wednesday morning before arriving at the guilty verdict.

Complicating the jurors' deliberations, according to some interviewed afterward, were the Lopinto family's dynamics and David Lopinto's claim that he shot his father four times from behind as he tried to defend himself and his pregnant girlfriend.
Ten inches taller and more than 100 pounds heavier than his son, Charles Lopinto had been described by his ex-wife as a bullying, violent man who captured and drowned cats for no reason other than meanness.
At the time of the shooting, the son wasn't working and was living with his girlfriend in a converted garage at his father's home.

Jocelyn Lopinto said through an interpreter that Charles Lopinto, whom she met on a Web site for men seeking Filipina brides, was angry with his son for freeloading, and that day was merely the culmination of weeks of fighting that included broken-out lights, chained refrigerator doors and questions about the purchase of a chinchilla.

David Lopinto, who had previous drug and burglary convictions, took the stand and described his father's cruelty, including incidents when he was a teenager in which his father choked him and his brothers.

Defense lawyer John Economidy said that on the day of the shooting, when an argument about unpaid electric bills spun out of control, Charles Lopinto had showed his violent streak again.
“He's raging like a bull,” Economidy said of the father before the son got the gun.

But jurors said it was damning that the son had a minutes-long waiting period between an earlier baseball bat fight between the pair, during which time police were called, and when David Lopinto returned to the house with the gun, shooting his father as Charles Lopinto went to the door to greet the arriving police officer.