Police: Facebook insult led to Colorado Springs killing

By: DANIEL J. CHACOn daniel.chacon@gazette.com
May 10, 2013 Updated: May 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm

A fight on Facebook sparked a confrontation that led to the stabbing death of a 39-year-old Colorado Springs man Tuesday night, according to court documents.

Police arrested 20-year-old Elton Lamar Johnson Jr. on Wednesday in connection with the slaying.

Officers say the incident started when the victim, Juan Carlos Lopez-Herrera, was having a Facebook conversation with a woman who told detectives that Lopez-Herrera sent her a message calling her a nasty name, documents state.

The name-calling caused an online disagreement between Lopez-Herrera and the woman's husband, Eric Woods, 32, documents state.

Court papers say Woods asked his 17-year-old stepson and Johnson, a close family friend, to speak with Lopez-Herrera at his home in the 8200 block of Camfield Circle to try to calm him down.

When they arrived, the teen told detectives, the two started talking to Lopez-Herrera, who pulled out a knife and demanded they get off his property, documents state.

During an interview at the Police Operations Center, Johnson told detectives that Lopez-Herrera 'just snapped and started yelling at them to get off his property ' when he mentioned the name of Lopez-Herrera's soon-to-be-ex-wife.

Johnson also said he confronted Lopez-Herrera about why he kept asking Woods for methamphetamine and a gun, documents state.

'Mr. Johnson said Mr. Lopez pulled a knife from his pocket and began swinging the knife at him, ' documents state. 'Mr. Johnson said he thought he could possibly kick the knife from Mr. Lopez's hand, and as he kicked towards the knife, he was cut on his lower right hand. '

Johnson said he picked up the knife when it fell on the ground.

'Mr. Johnson said he held the knife out and jabbed towards Mr. Lopez as he came towards him, ' documents state. 'Mr. Johnson said he felt this was in self-defense because he knows Mr. Lopez to have (a) black belt in martial arts. '

Afterward, Johnson tossed the knife, documents state. Johnson and the 17-year-old told detectives they saw Lopez-Herrera walking toward his front door after the fight.

Police were dispatched to Lopez-Herrera's home just after midnight Tuesday and found Lopez-Herrera dead on his back near his front door.

Police found blood spattered on the sidewalks east and south of the home as well as the sidewalk leading up to it.

Detectives arrested Johnson on suspicion of second-degree murder. He was held at the El Paso County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.


Contact Daniel ChacOn: 476-1623

Twitter @danieljchacon

Facebook Daniel Chacon

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