Plea deal likely for suspect in Natalie Bollinger's shooting death

Posted at 10:53 AM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 12:53:01-05

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — On Friday, a disposition hearing was set for Joseph Lopez, the man charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a teenager, indicating that a plea deal may be coming soon.

Lopez will likely now face second-degree murder, avoiding the first-degree charge and possibility of life in prison.

Natalie Bollinger was 19 when she disappeared on December 28, 2017. Her body was found a day later on Riverdale Road in an unincorporated part of Adams County. A 9mm shell casing was found about 5 feet from her body, according to a previous Denver7 report.

The coroner’s office determined that she had been killed by a single gunshot wound to the head and ruled it could not have been a suicide.

Lopez was arrested on Feb. 8 and was charged with first-degree murder. Authorities said Lopez told three different stories about what happened. In court, Lopez claimed that the 19-year-old hired him through Craigslist to kill her.

After the disposition hearing was set on Friday, Ted Bollinger, Natalie’s father, sat at a picnic table outside. His family had hoped Lopez would not see a plea deal. 

“I will never agree to or submit to anything lesser than his life sentence,” he said. “He took my baby’s life.”