TAMPA—On Friday, August 3, 2012, a federal jury found Luis Angel Lopez (24, Hillsborough County) guilty of conspiring and using the mail or a facility of interstate commerce with the intent to commit murder and using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence that caused a death. He faces a penalty of life in federal prison. Lopez was indicted in May 2011, along with Cristie Fay Bottorff and Jerry Alan Bottorff. Lopez is scheduled to be sentenced on October 18, 2012.
Thomas Lee Sehorne was murdered on June 7, 2007, in Lithia, Florida. At the time of the murder, Cristie Bottorff was married to Sehorne and involved in an affair with Jerry Bottorff. The evidence presented at trial revealed that the murder was procured by Cristie and Jerry Bottorff and accomplished with the assistance of Michael Garcia, who served as a middle-man or broker to Lopez. Lopez, the triggerman, was to be paid $60,000 for the murder. Sehorne was killed for $1 million dollars in life insurance proceeds that he held for his wife and two minor children.
Cristie Bottorff and Jerry Bottorff both pled guilty to all charges on July 9, 2012, and testified against Lopez during the trial, along with Garcia. Both Cristie and Jerry Bottorff are scheduled to be sentenced on October 22, 2012. Michael Garcia remains in jail on unrelated drug charges.
The case was investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Terry Furr and Tom Palermo, with investigative assistance from Assistant United States Attorney Jeff Downing.