A Coleman federal prison inmate has been found guilty of strangling to death his cell mate with a bed sheet.
US Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced that a federal jury has found 37-year-old Romeo Lopez-Hernandez guilty of first degree, premeditated murder. Lopez-Hernandez faces a mandatory penalty of life in federal prison. His sentencing is scheduled for April.
According to evidence presented during the three-day trial, on Feb. 1, 2021, Lopez-Hernandez strangled his cellmate to death by using a torn bed sheet he had made with an improvised knife. After the victim lost consciousness, Lopez-Hernandez watched for guards and continued to strangle the victim until he was sure that the victim had died. Lopez-Hernandez later confessed to the murder and bragged about it to prison personnel. At trial, however, Lopez-Hernandez changed his story and claimed the victim had committed suicide.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Tyrie K. Boyer and Belkis H. Crockett.