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Man sentenced to 48 years after killing teen who put ‘hit’ on Craigslist
Christopher Sessums (CC-BY-SA)
A Colorado man received a 48-year prison sentence on Monday after pleading guilty to the killing of a 19-year-old who posted an ad to Craigslist titled, “I want to put a hit on myself,” Broomfield News reports.
The teen, Natalie Bollinger, originally went missing in December 2017. Her body later was later found with a gunshot wound to her head.
Joseph Lopez, 23, claimed to police that he killed Bollinger after responding to the ad and exchanging dozens of text messages with the teenager. He also said that she provided the gun he used to end her life. Lopez originally faced charges of first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, thus skirting a possible death sentence.
At Lopez’ sentencing hearing, Chief Deputy District Attorney Ally Baber said the convicted “didn’t respond as a human being” to Bollinger’s Craigslist post. “He responded as a predator,” Baber said.
Investigators found that Bollinger said in texts to Lopez that she wanted to be “executed.”
“He had hours and hours of opportunity to do the right thing and save her life, but he chose to murder her,” Baber said.
Enraged at the plea agreement deal, Bollinger’s father called it “a deal with the devil” and insisted “I asked for an eye for an eye. You have been protected. The Bollinger family had no say in this.”
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Alyse Stanley is a video game and culture reporter based in Virginia with words at Polygon and USGamer. When she’s not writing about memes, she edits Unwinnable’s monthly magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @pithyalyse.