He acquired performed — or so he says.
A distinguished US Military veteran needs Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to knock break day his 62-year sentence for killing his highschool sweetheart’s husband in 2020 — claiming she lied to him about being the sufferer of violent home abuse.
Darrin Lopez, 51, who was convicted in July of gunning down 49-year-old Jamie Religion, stated he noticed himself on a “mission” — very similar to when he was within the army — to avoid wasting Jennifer Religion’s life solely to seek out out afterward she’d tricked him, NBC’s “Dateline” reported Friday.
“I turned her weapon. I perceive that,” Lopez stated.
The divorced killer first made his fateful contact by way of LinkedIn along with his outdated flame in the course of the pandemic when he was feeling lonely at his farm outdoors Nashville, Tennessee.
They began speaking, and Lopez stated he fell in love with Jennifer Religion, 51, over again.
The speech therapist, and her husband, an IT director with American Airways, had been collectively for 15 years and had a teenage daughter.
Lopez informed “Dateline” that it wasn’t his plan to torpedo their marriage however Jennifer Religion informed him her husband was violently abusive to her and despatched him emails of her alleged accidents — which have been later discovered to have been staged.
As well as, Lopez stated that Jennifer Religion informed him her husband discovered about their ongoing conversations and had develop into enraged. She despatched Lopez copies of textual content messages purporting to be from Jamie Religion that threatened to sexually assault, and even drown, her.
The texts spurred Lopez to get in his pickup and drive 10 hours from Nashville to Dallas.
“If I didn’t do one thing, she was going to die,” stated Lopez.
Lopez opened fireplace on the couple as they walked their canine close to their house on Oct. 9, 2020. He shot 9 instances, with three bullets placing Jamie Religion within the head. In an try to make the slay seem like a theft, he took Jamie Religion’s wedding ceremony ring, punched Jennifer Religion and certain her fingers.
Lopez then fled the scene in his truck and drove again house, flicking the stolen wedding ceremony ring out his window someplace in Arkansas.
Jennifer Religion, in the meantime, claimed the killer approached from behind and he or she had no concept.
Lopez was arrested in January 2021, and Jennifer Religion a month later.
The killer’s lawyer, Juan Sanchez, informed “Dateline” that it took him six months to make his consumer understand that Jennifer Religion made up the allegations.
Lopez stated he was shattered to study that Jennifer Religion, who as soon as known as him her”soulmate,” had lied.
“After I acquired arrested, I went to jail really believing I saved Jennifer and her daughter,” Lopez informed “Dateline.”
“That thought by no means registered in my thoughts that she might use me this fashion. I imagine she beloved me.”
He helped prosecutors “put her away,” he stated.
In February 2022, Jennifer Religion pleaded responsible and was later sentenced to life in jail.
Lopez believes that his work serving to prosecutors convict her was not adequately understood at his sentencing, the place he was going through 5 years to life.
“It was due to me that they have been in a position to go to her and, ‘Say hey, Darrin’s going to testify in opposition to you,’” he stated.
“The jury didn’t understand how a lot assist I gave.”
Nevertheless, one juror who requested to stay nameless stated, “This very harmless particular person is useless due to (his) choice.”
However Lopez hopes Gov. Abbott will assist cut back his sex-decade sentence after the Republican vowed to pardon Military Sgt. Daniel Perry, who was convicted of killing a Black Lives Matter protester in Austin in 2020.