Gordon Tokumatsu, Troy McLaurin
Janeth Lopez, 22, pleaded not guilty to murder Tuesday in relation to allegations she was spray-painting outside a Westlake church when an associate shot at churchgoers who confronted her. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Downtown LA for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2012.
A female suspected gang member and tagger pleaded not guilty to murder Tuesday in relation to allegations she was spray-painting outside a Westlake church when an associate shot at churchgoers who confronted her.
Janeth Lopez, 22, was arraigned on murder and other charges Tuesday afternoon at the downtown LA Foltz Criminal Justice Center in connection with the Nov. 4 shooting death of 25-year-old Andrez Ordonez outside Iglesia de Paz church.
Ordonez and another member of the church left services at about 6:30 p.m. to ask a female who was tagging the church what she was doing, according to police. A man in a waiting car opened fire on the two churchgoers, killing Ordonez.
Lopez, who was allegedly spray-painting red graffiti on the church, is suspected of leaping into the car with the gunman and racing from the scene in the 3000 block of West Beverly Boulevard.
The search for the gunman is continuing, and a $50,000 reward has been offered by the city of Los Angeles for information leading to his arrest.
Lopez was arrested last Thursday by the Los Angeles Police Department's Southwest Division, online inmate records show. It's not clear if the reward played a role in her arrest.
Along with murder, Lopez is charged with two counts of attempted murder – one for the second church member who was wounded and another involving a man who was fired upon but not struck. She's also charged with one misdemeanor count of vandalism.
Prosecutors will ask that her bail be set at $2.5 million. If convicted, Lopez faces up to life in prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect date for when Lopez was arrested. The post has been updated.