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Judge refuses to lower bond for Stamford woman in daughter-in-law’s death

December 4, 2018

STAMFORD — A Stamford judge on Monday refused to lower a $250,000 court appearance bond on a city woman who police say did not call for medical attention quickly enough to save her daughter-in-law’s life last week.

Mercedes Collazo Martinez, 60, a Home Depot cashier who on Friday was charged with cruelty to persons, was sent to the York Correctional Institution for women in Niantic Monday afternoon and could remain there, if unable to post the large bond, until her next scheduled appearance at the Stamford courthouse on Jan. 10.

Martinez’s attorney, Lindy Urso, told Judge Bruce Hudock at her arraignment Monday that it was unfair that his client would be held on the same bond as her son son, Hector Collazo Lopez, when he said police suspect that Lopez may have been responsible for the Nov. 27, death of his wife, Iris Lopez, 36.

Hector Lopez also is sitting in jail unable to post a $250,000 court appearance bond after being charged with cruelty to persons.

Iris Lopez had 30 to 40 bruises on her body and was diagnosed with a “massive” brain bleed caused by a traumatic injury to the side of her head when she was brought to Stamford Hospital late in the afternoon last Tuesday. She died a little over 12 hours later in the Intensive Care Unit.

“I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Mrs. Martinez has something to do with the actual injuries associated with her (Lopez’s) death,” Urso told Hudock. “I understand that there is a suspicion that her son may have caused them.”

In Martinez’s arrest affidavit, Hector Lopez is called the “primary” suspect in his wife’s death.

Urso said police have also been made aware that Hector Lopez has threatened and physically assaulted his mother.

At the hearing Monday, Supervisory Assistant States Attorney Paul Ferencek said Martinez was well aware of her daughter-in-law’s injuries as early as Tuesday morning. “By her own admission when she saw (Lopez) at 9 a.m. Tuesday she was frothing at the mouth and was unconscious,” he said.

Martinez reportedly went to work and it wasn’t until late in the afternoon that she called an ambulance for her daughter-in-law. Ferencek said more serious charges may be coming in the case and asked that the bond remain $250,000, as it was set upon Martinez’s arrest on Friday.

Hudock said that there is a pending investigation into Lopez’s untimely death that will determine full responsibility, and when that investigation is complete he would entertain motions to reduce the bond on Martinez as well as that on her son. He also mentioned a statement Martinez allegedly made saying she wanted to leave the county.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not yet been able to determine the cause and manner of Lopez’s death.

As he did last week, Urso said Hudock’s bond was too high.

“It’s a squeeze play. Even if you regard everything in that affidavit as true, the bond is exorbitant,” Urso said. “She is not a danger to the community. She said she told the police everything she knows. They simply don’t believe it. They think she is holding out. I think they belive her son confessed to her, and he didn’t.”

According to court documents, Hector Lopez has a record of domestic violence convictions from 2000 to 2016 for charges including assault, breach of peace, criminal mischief, violation of judges’ protective orders, violation of probation, stalking, threatening, creating a public disturbance and interfering with police. He has served sentences in prison as long as a year and as short as 30 days, and in some cases received suspended sentences, his court record shows.

jnickerson@stamfordadvocate.com

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