Trial Underway for Man Accused of Killing Mother, 2 Children in Des Moines

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Marvin Escobar-Orellana AKA Marvin Esquivel-Lopez during hearing on December 10, 2019. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Trial has begun for a man accused of shooting to death a woman and her two young children inside a Des Moines home in 2019.

The first day of 33-year-old Marvin Esquivel Lopez’s trial included testimony from his wife in which she said she saw him shoot 29-year-old Rossibeth Flores-Rodriguez twice in the head after the two had argued the night of July 18, 2019, the Des Moines Register reported.

Officers also found Flores-Rodriguez’s two children — 11-year-old Grecia Daniela Alvarado-Flores and 5-year-old Ever Jose Mejia-Flores — dead in the home’s basement with two gunshots each to the head, authorities said. Prosecutors said Flores-Rodriguez and her children had arrived in Iowa from Honduras about five months before their deaths and lived with Esquivel Lopez and his family.

Mariah Esquivel Lopez testified that after she saw her husband shoot Flores-Rodriguez, she gathered her two children and her husband’s child from a prior relationship and left the home.

Mariah said that she was “freaking out” and didn’t think of Rosie’s two children, who had been put to bed in the basement, before leaving.

Esquivel Lopez, who is also known to federal immigration authorities as Marvin Escobar-Orellana, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and faces life in prison with no possibility of parole if he’s convicted.

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