Ortiz Sentenced

Argentine woman accused of killing lesbian friend in 2007 will serve eight years in prison, face deportation

A woman who evaded police for three years after she was accused of stabbing a lesbian friend in D.C. was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in an Alford plea in July.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit the allegations but agrees the government has enough evidence to secure a conviction.

Blanca Ortiz, 47, formerly of Silver Spring, will be deported to her native Argentina after she completes her prison term.

Ortiz was accused of killing Gabriela Lopez-Hernandez, 29, with whom investigators say she had become close, in Lopez-Hernandez’s Adams Morgan apartment between midnight and noon on Jan. 8, 2007. Lopez-Hernandez’s body was found in her bathtub with multiple stab wounds. The crime scene had been extensively cleaned with bleach prior to the discovery of Lopez-Hernandez’s body.

Surveillance videos showed that Ortiz was in the victim’s apartment for more than three hours on the day of the murder. District of Columbia records showed Ortiz had received a ticket on the morning of the crime for parking alongside Lopez-Hernandez’s apartment building. Later that day, before the body was found, Ortiz allegedly told a close friend, ”Gabby’s dead,” referring to a nickname for Lopez-Hernandez.

A warrant was issued for Ortiz’s arrest Sept. 29, 2008, but authorities learned she had left the country. She was indicted in October 2010 on a charge of first-degree premeditated murder while armed, and on Sept. 30, 2011, Ortiz was apprehended in Argentina and extradited to the District to face trial. As her trial was to start, Ortiz pleaded guilty to the Alford plea charge of manslaughter.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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