Attorney: Aurora man charged with soliciting murder over Snapchat had 'zero intent' of following through
The defense attorney for a 23-year-old Aurora man charged in late January with soliciting a murder for $1,000 in a social media post says his client didn't have the means or intent to go forward.
Andy Lopez is charged with felony solicitation of murder, which carries a sentence ranging from probation to up to five years in prison if convicted.
"He had zero intent of following through," defense attorney Fred Morelli said. "I don't think he's guilty of what he's charged with."
Prosecutors say that on the night of Jan. 22, Lopez posted on his Snapchat "story" the names and addresses of two witnesses who were involved in a misdemeanor battery case against Lopez from 2019 out of West Chicago, and the message with it said "1000$ if u wack this dude."
According to a search warrant, Aurora police had been monitoring Lopez for possible drug sales, and an investigator saw the post and responded around 4:30 a.m. Jan. 23 with, "Ehhh, I'd do it for $2k if u serious."
Lopez opened the reply at 11 a.m. that day but did not respond or remove his initial post, according to a search warrant for his phone and Snapchat activity. Officers warned the two people in Lopez's post and arrested him at his parents' home on the 600 block of Watson Street on Jan. 24.
Morelli said Lopez lives with his parents, works a fast-food job and would not be able to come up with $1,000. Morelli said people say "I'm going to kill you" in all sorts of situations but don't mean it.
"It's like (someone saying), 'If you do that, I'll kill you.' It was a meaningless, empty threat, if it's even a threat at all," Morelli said. "The chances of him getting $1,000 are the same as me buying the Brooklyn Bridge."
Lopez, who has been released from the Kane County jail after his parents posted $10,000 bail, is next due in court March 23.