LANCASTER – A Lancaster man was charged Friday with killing Stephen Finson, the 47-year-old man found shot to death Feb. 24 after riding out to the desert on his all-terrain vehicle.
Arturo López, 38, is charged with one count of murder with an allegation that he personally and intentionally used a rifle to commit the crime, according to Deputy District Attorney John Evans.
Additionally, Lopez faces three counts each of possession of a firearm by a felon with one prior. The prior named in the complaint is a 1997 conviction for unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle.
During the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 23, Finson went for a ride on his all-terrain vehicle, but failed to return home. Worried family members reported Finson missing, and authorities combed the desert for the Navy veteran.
Finson was found the next morning by a volunteer assigned to the search team near 135th Street East and Avenue H. Finson was wearing his helmet, and his Honda ATC 250R was upright some 40 to 50 feet north of the dry wash.
Authorities initially believed Finson’s death was due to a crash, but when the coroner arrived, detectives learned Finson was shot.
Finson was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:20 a.m., Feb. 24, by the paramedics.
Authorities have not released a motive for the homicide.
If convicted as charged, López faces 25 years to life in state prison.
Bail has been set at more than $2 million.
Authorities have released the booking photo for Arturo Lopez. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 8 at the Antelope Valley Courthouse.
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