Man sentenced in Montrose woman’s death

A man accused in the shooting death of a Montrose woman whose remains were found buried at a rock quarry has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Lionel Lopez pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of being an accessory to first-degree murder in the 2003 death of 47-year-old Irene Trujillo.

A grand jury indictment alleged Lopez shot Trujillo in the head on a remote stretch of highway east of Montrose, then burned and buried her body on the grounds of Montrose Stone Inc.

Trujillo and her estranged husband, Rick, owned the company and Lopez worked for them.

Rick Trujillo and another employee found Irene Trujillo’s body.

The indictment indicated that Irene Trujillo saw a friend in the Montrose Wal-Mart shortly before she disappeared and said she was buying ammunition for Lopez because she owed him money.

Lopez had rented a rifle from friends to go hunting on a business trip to Montana but didn’t take the trip.

Lopez initially told investigators that he had picked up Trujillo when she was walking down a road and took her directly home.

He later changed his story and said he took her to Wal-Mart first.

Lopez pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison for burglarizing her home after she disappeared.

His plea to being an accessory would seem to indicate authorities believe another person may have been involved in the slaying.

Montrose County District Attorney Myrl Serra said the investigation into Trujillo’s death remains open.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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