Mother with role in abduction sentenced to jail, probation
The Yuma woman who orchestrated the kidnapping of her then 9-year-old daughter nearly five years ago and then fled to Mexico has been sentenced to probation and time in jail.
Chrystal Abren Lopez, who returned to the country last year and turned herself in, had recently pled guilty to one count of perjury and one count of false reporting in a plea agreement in Yuma County Superior Court. Appearing before Presiding Superior Court Judge John Nelson on Friday, Lopez was sentenced to a 36-month term of supervised probation and 300 days in jail with credit for 296 days previously served. She was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the Yuma Police Department for the emergency services they used looking for her daughter.
In return for her guilty plea to the lesser offenses, charges against her of fraudulent schemes and artifices, custodial interference and kidnapping were dismissed.
According to Yuma police, Lopez planned the kidnapping of her now 14-year-old daughter, Damaris Herrera-Lopez, following a custody exchange that took place in the McDonald's parking lot on 4th Avenue in Yuma on Dec. 10, 2008.
During the exchange, Damaris became upset and ran toward the alley behind the adjacent YMCA, where Richard Alvarez, who is also Lopez's son, was allegedly waiting in the alley for her, picked her up and drove her to San Luis Rio Colorado, Son., the same night.
According to court documents, Lopez had been granted temporary custody of Damaris for 10 days after filing a petition with the court, but was supposed to return the child to her father, Rey Herrera, the night Damaris ran off.
Alvarez was arrested nearly three weeks later in San Luis and charged for his alleged role in the abduction. The father, according to court records, had permanent custody of the child.
On May 16, 2012, Lopez, 44, turned herself in at the U.S. Port of Entry at San Luis and was booked into the Yuma County jail.