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Man sentenced to life for killing wife with hammer and knife

August 2, 2019

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally attacking his wife with a sledgehammer and a knife.

News outlets report 40-year-old Walter Ricardo Lopez Barrios was convicted Thursday of murdering his wife in 2016 and assaulting his then-12-year-old stepdaughter.

Testimony showed Lopez Barrios attacked 56-year-old Martha Montoya after she confronted him about allegedly molesting her oldest daughter. Montoya’s daughters awoke to hear her screams and the youngest one went to investigate with a knife. Lopez Barrios chased her out of the room with the hammer.

Lopez Barrios says he killed Montoya in self-defense because she came at him with a gun. Assistant State Attorney Aleathea McRoberts says evidence did not support his claim.

Prosecutors told jurors Lopez Barrios molested the oldest daughter but won’t be charged.

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