Brianna Mariah Lopez, better known simply as “Baby Brianna,” was born to Stephanie Lopez and Andy Walters on February 14, 2002. She moved into a home with her mother, father, and uncle, Steven Lopez, in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Almost immediately, all three adults began abusing the newborn baby.
Brianna Suffers Horrific Ab*use
Stephanie would hit Brianna, bite her, and bite her again if she cried. Briana was abu*sed by Andy and his brother Steven while Stephanie stood back and watched. When the baby was only a few weeks old, they hit, kicked, threw, pinched, and even raped her. They found it funny when Brianna cried out in pain after being abu*sed, which made them hurt her even more. To block out the noise, they put clothes in her mouth.
Brainia was abu*sed horribly for 153 days before she died tragically at the hands of the people who should have loved her the most.
Andy went to buy beer on July 18, 2002. When he got home, all three of them drank alcohol. Stephanie says she went to bed in the same room as Brianna, Andy, and Steven after drinking a few beers. She says she hasn’t heard anything around her, though.
The two men decided to play a crazy game called “toss Brianna into the air.” They threw her so hard that she hit the ceiling and then let her fall to the ground. Brainia screamed in pain, but Stephanie said she didn’t hear anything. The men, as usual, thought it was funny to hurt this little baby who couldn’t defend itself.
Stephanie woke up on July 19, 2002, around 7:15 a.m. to the sound of Brianna crying. When she saw bruises on her body, she asked Andy and Steven what had happened. They told her they were “a little too rough” with her the night before when they played. Brianna begged Stephanie for help, but Stephanie didn’t think there was anything wrong with her explanation. She went about her day anyway.
In the evening, Andy raped Briana with his finger while she was changing her diaper. This wasn’t new. He regularly sodomized baby Briana with different things.
After a few hours, Stephanie finally called 911 for help. Briana had been clearly in trouble for almost 24 hours at this point. She told the operator that Briana had slid off of a high chair.
When they got to the hospital, they said Briana was dead at 11:10 a.m. She had been 5 months and 5 days old. When doctors got to the hospital, they were horrified by what they saw.
Baby Briana was bruised all over, including some new wounds and old ones. She had bleeding on her brain, broken ribs, both broken legs, both broken arms, cuts on her fingers, cuts on her vagina and anus, and many more. After leaving the hospital five months ago, she had been abu*sed every single day.
No Happy Photos
Police searched the home, but did not find one toy or photo of Briana smiling. No evidence of Brinana ever feeling love or happiness during her short life. Grandparents and other relatives knew the threesome a*bused Briana but ignored the abu*se, even knowing her father and uncle raped her. They saw the bruises on her body but remained silent.
Brianna died because her tiny little body could not handle any more abu*se.
The laws that were in place when Brianna died were very sad. They only allow 18 years in prison as the maximum sentence for “intentional child abu*se resulting in d*eath.”
Stephanie Lopez was found guilty of neglectful child ab*use and given a prison sentence of less than 15 years. Andy and Steven both got the longest sentences that the law allowed. Since then, all three have been let out of jail.
The grandparents and other relatives were all sent to jail for 30 days because they didn’t report the ab*use. Brianna could have been saved if someone had spoken up. A lot more time than 30 days in jail was due to them.
Family Would Not Claim Brianna’s Body
No one from Brianna’s family came forward to claim her body. They wouldn’t pay for her funeral or a casket. Because people were so angry about the death and what happened afterward, they came together, claimed the body, and paid for a funeral, casket, and proper burial for the baby.
An Outpouring of Love Met With Hate
People from the area brought flowers, balloons, and toys to the memorial site for Briana. During her short life, she never had these things. The people in the area wanted baby Briana to know they loved her, even though she ended up with bad monsters.
Briana’s family didn’t like all the love that was coming their way. They put a cage over her grave so that no one would be able to pay their respects. The cage is full of trash and other things that haven’t been taken care of. On the outside, people paid tribute to the baby in the same way they would have on her grave.
Baby Brianna Bill
“Eighteen years for the life of a child?” State Sen. Mary Jane Garcia said. “I thought it was absurd.”
Lawyers in New Mexico changed the law for the better three years after a lot of hard work.
Governor Bill Richardson signed Senate Bill 166, also known as the “Baby Brianna Bill,” into law in 2005. This made child abu*se that ends in de*ath a first-degree felony in New Mexico, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Photo of Brianna
“I thought she looked asleep when I saw her little face lying on a white sheet before the autopsy began,” Wright said. “I just took the picture.”
The picture was photo-shopped to edit out all the marks, bruises and scars she had. It’s the Brianna the community likes to remember.
Wright said, “There’s a picture of her to remind us of her little life.”
Martinez said, “Of course, it helps us remember why we do what we do.” “Your hands will either get rough or turn into Jell-O if you forget.” “You can’t do this job well unless you are in the middle, and that’s just a good reminder why we do it.”
Hi Brianna… I’m so sorry that you had to deal with demons like these. I’m really sorry that no one helped you. We will always remember you. I hope you have so much happiness in heaven now. They’ll get it one day, little girl.
May Stephanie, Andy, and Steven feel pain and misery for the rest of their pathetic lives as they continue to undeservingly breathe out in the real world… & then rot in eternal hell.