NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach County


Lake Worth Beach man sentenced to life for killing wife with sledgehammer, knife

 Walter Ricardo Lopez Barrios
Posted at 12:35 PM, Aug 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-02 12:38:03-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Lake Worth Beach 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.