LANCASTER – A Lancaster man who gunned down an all-terrain vehicle enthusiast in the desert 2 1/2 years ago was sentenced Thursday to 45 years to life in state prison.
Arturo Lopez, 41, was found guilty June 2 of second-degree murder for the shooting death of Stephen Finson, 47, of Lancaster.
Lopez was also convicted of one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime and offering false evidence, along with three counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.
Finson’s body was found Feb. 24, 2014, on the ground near his ATV in the 13300 block of East Avenue H in Lancaster, about eight hours after family members reported that he had failed to return from the desert.
An autopsy revealed that Finson died from a gunshot to the head that went through the back of his helmet and exited through his open face mask, homicide detectives said.
More than a month after Finson’s death, and two weeks after a $10,000 reward was offered to help solve the crime, authorities were tipped off to ex-convict Arturo Lopez. He was arrested by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in April of 2014 and has remained behind bars since then.
Finson was shot by Lopez while riding and taking pictures in the desert, according to Deputy District Attorney John Evans.
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