St. Paul woman, 19, sentenced to 20 years in prison in connection with boyfriend’s shooting death

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A 19-year-old St. Paul woman was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison in connection with the fatal shooting of her boyfriend in Chanhassen last year.

Vanessa Sanchez Lopez was convicted of murder in the second-degree in a drive-by shooting and sentenced this week, according to the Carver County attorney’s office.

Court documents gave the following details:

After going to a movie on Feb. 2, 2023, Lopez and her boyfriend, Manuel Bernal Jurado, 17, of South St. Paul, picked up a 15-year-old and a 19-year-old in Mahtomedi before driving to the Chanhassen home of a 23-year-old man.

During the drive, Jurado and Lopez were arguing because she thought he was cheating on her. While she drove, she also was drinking alcohol and at one point, both of them shot a pistol that belonged to Jurado out the window of the vehicle. After arriving at the 23-year-old man’s home, the man also got into the vehicle, which was parked in the driveway.

At one point, with all five of them in the car, Lopez pointed the gun at Jurado’s head and fired.

Lopez admitted later that she pointed the gun at her boyfriend’s neck and intentionally pulled the trigger, charges say. She denied knowing the gun was loaded.

A preliminary breath test that night showed Lopez had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.13, making her legally intoxicated for operating a motor vehicle.

On Friday, Carver County District Judge Eric Braaten sentenced Lopez to 20 years in prison in connection with the shooting.

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