Inmate who plotted to kill judge gets life, again

October 23, 2009 2:26:36 PM PDT
A south Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison for plotting the murder of the federal judge who earlier sentenced him to life for drug trafficking. The U.S. Attorney's Office said Joel Lopez Sr., of Roma, had plotted with his wife to hire a man to kill U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa of McAllen and also to kidnap a woman who allegedly owed him money. Lopez offered a fellow inmate $2 million to kill Hinojosa upon his release, but the inmate instead went to authorities.

U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon sentenced Lopez on Friday. Harmon earlier sentenced Lopez's wife, Aracely Lopez-Gonzalez, to nine years in prison after she pleaded guilty to her role.

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