PLACENTIA (CBSLA.com) — Jurors heard opening arguments Tuesday morning in trial related to a 1994 murder that rocked a Placentia community.
Sam Lopez is accused of fatally stabbing his former girlfriend and Cal State Fullerton student Cathy Torrez, 20, on Feb. 12, 1994.
On the night of her murder, Torrez left her job at a local Sav-on store to meet Lopez, but never returned home, prosecutors said.
Police found her body a week later in the trunk of her red Toyota Corolla in the Placentia-Linda Hospital parking lot.
Lopez’s cousin, Xavier Lopez, is also charged in the murder, but will not go on trial until March.
The cousins are accused of providing alibis for each other on the night of the crime.
In 1997, forensic testing linked Xavier and Sam Lopez’s DNA to evidence found in Torrez’s car.
Co-defendant Armando Lopez, Samuel Lopez’s older brother, was also charged with being an accessory after the fact and is next due in court in May.