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Sentence hearing postponed in Minidoka murder case

Sentence hearing postponed in Minidoka murder case


Denis Lopez-Serrano talks with his attorney Nathan Rivera during a preliminary hearing July 18 in Minidoka County Magistrate Court.

RUPERT — An April 2 sentence hearing for a Nampa man accused of shooting and killing his former girlfriend’s father was postponed because presentence test results have not come back yet, according to court staff.

Denis O. Lopez-Serrano has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder with a weapons enhancement, second-degree kidnapping and aggravated assault.

As of Monday afternoon, another date for the hearing had not been set.

Lopez-Serrano is charged in the shooting death of Rafael Gil Vargas, 43, in April 2018 and for shooting Vargas’ daughter, Nallely Vargas, who was Lopez-Serrano’s former girlfriend.

Lopez-Serrano lured Nallely Vargas out of her Minidoka home to pick up the couple’s 2-year-old daughter and then waited on a road to kill her, officials said during a previous court hearing. When she arrived in a car with her father, Lopez-Serrano shot and fatally wounded Rafael Vargas.

Lopez-Serrano drove her and her father to a remote location and said he was going to kill her and dump both of their bodies, according to Nallely Vargas’ court testimony.

Nallely Vargas said Lopez-Serrano pointed the gun at her father’s head during the drive and shot her in the hand when she put her hand over the gun’s muzzle.

She said in court that she talked him out of killing her by saying she would not turn him in to police.


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