Man pleads guilty in coverup of 1994 murder of Fullerton student

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- The brother of a man convicted in the 1994 stabbing death of a Cal State Fullerton student pleaded guilty to helping cover up the crime and was sentenced, as the victim's sisters delivered emotional statements in court.

Armando Lopez pleaded guilty to dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and was immediately sentenced to a year of informal probation.

He is the brother of Sam Lopez, who was sentenced in 2015 to the killing of his ex-girlfriend Cathy Torrez in 1994.

Police say the 20-year-old Fullerton student was stabbed 70 times and forced into the trunk of a car, where her body was found a week later.

Lopez, who admitted to the crime during sentencing, is serving 26-years-to-life in prison.

Xavier Lopez, their cousin, also pleaded guilty to a role in her death and investigators still hope to prosecute another man they also believe was involved.

Torrez' family was present in court and spoke directly to Lopez: "Armando, you hurt Cathy, by your words and your actions to cover up the evil," said Tina Mora, Cathy's sister.

The family says they hope their legal fight encourages others like them to never give up seeking justice.

The family also continues to honor Cathy's life by supporting the Cathy Torrez Learning Center in Placentia.
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