A man who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 1994 killing of a Cal State Fullerton student will be released from jail Friday in Orange County.
Xavier Lopez admitted to helping murder his cousin Sam Lopez's girlfriend Cathy Torrez. Xavier Lopez was arrested in 2007 and served a maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter and being an accessory to murder.
Torrez disappeared after leaving work in Placentia 21 years ago. Her body was found in the trunk of her car a week after she went missing. She was stabbed 70 times and suffered wounds to her neck, upper chest, head, chin, forearm, back and right thigh, along with cuts on her hands.
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A lack of DNA and blood evidence delayed the case for more than a decade until new evidence provided new leads.
Sam Lopez, her on-again-off-again boyfriend, was convicted of the murder in March based on circumstantial evidence, and was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison.
Prosecutors said they found Xavier Lopez's fingerprint on the trunk of Torrez' car and believed he closed the trunk on her while she was still alive.
"I am sincerely sorry. I really mean that from the bottom of my heart," said Xavier Lopez in court Friday. "May God bless each and everyone of their hearts with the strength courage and unfailing love."
Family members also spoke out in court, calling Xavier Lopez a liar and a coward.