Lopez Found Competent to Stand Trial

By EGP News Report

Long-time immigrant rights activist Nativo Lopez appeared in court April 14 and was found competent to stand trial. The decision comes nearly two years after Lopez was charged with eight felonies related to election and voter registration fraud, charges he denies. Lopez’s supporters have rallied behind him, and demanded that the charges be dropped.

Prosecutor Juliet Smidt, of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division, says the charges will not be dropped and says she believes Lopez has been pretending to be mentally ill in order to avoid going to trial.

“The defendant was found competent to stand trial, but a trial date was not yet set. The case was set for pretrial on May 24 in Dept. 123,” Smidt told EGP following the April 14 hearing.

Related story: Activist’s Voter Fraud Case Stalled on Competency Question

In June 2009, the Public Integrity Unit of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office and Secretary of State’s Election Fraud Investigation Unit, charged Lopez with four felonies: fraudulent voter registration, fraudulent document filing, perjury and fraudulent voting. He faces a total of eight felony charges.

Investigators for the Election Fraud Investigation Unit said that Lopez is a resident of Orange County, but registered to vote using the address of an office in Boyle Heights, and cast an illegal ballot in Los Angeles in the 2008 presidential primary.

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April 28, 2011  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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