- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A 44-year-old Midvale man accused of shooting his wife while he was driving will ask a judge to toss out a murder charge next year.

Komasquin Lopez said his wife killed herself in their moving pickup truck after he threatened to leave her because she was using methamphetamine, according to court documents.

Defense attorneys said the evidence in the case doesn’t support a murder charge.

In court documents, lawyers point to tests that show both he and his wife, 32-year-old Shannon Lopez, had gunshot residue on their hands, showing she could have shot herself.

They will ask the charge to be tossed in a Jan. 20 hearing, a judge decided Monday.

But prosecutors say she wanted to end the marriage and had sent him a text message earlier saying she would take their sons with her. He was angry and high on meth at the time of her death, prosecutors argue in court documents.

Even though she was right-handed, she was shot in the left ear, the side closest to the driver. The ear is also not a common location for a suicidal person, prosecutors argue. The only complete gunshot residue particle was found on Komasquin Lopez, and he tried to wash his hands in the snow, perhaps to remove residue, after her death, prosecutors say.

They pointed to friends’ testimony that she was excited about an upcoming night out, and had previously said she couldn’t leave the care of her two sons to anyone else. While Komasquin Lopez worked intermittently, his wife had two jobs and was likely the family breadwinner, prosecutors said.

She was a passenger and her husband’s truck, which hit another vehicle moments after the shot was fired Dec. 27.

After Shannon Lopez died, police said he screamed and moaned and appeared to cry but shed no tears.

Komasquin Lopez was arrested about two weeks after his wife’s death and is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

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