Raul Lopez Jr. sentenced during hearing Thursday afternoon

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AZTEC — A man convicted of attempted second-degree murder for shooting another man in the head has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Raul Dominguez Lopez Jr., 30, entered a no-contest plea to a third-degree felony count of attempted second degree murder as part of a plea agreement on April 23 in Aztec District Court.

District Judge John Dean Jr. sentenced Lopez to four years of prison during a sentencing hearing Thursday afternoon. He will get credit for serving more than two years at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center following his arrest on Feb. 5. 2016.

Lopez's conviction stems from his shooting Ryan Yazzie on Feb. 2, 2016, in an apartment at the Mesa Village Apartments at 1205 E. Elm St. in Farmington, according to The Daily Times archives.

The shooting occurred following an argument between Yazzie and one of the Lopez's friends, Denise George. After Lopez and his friends were kicked out of a residence, Lopez returned with a handgun and shot Yazzie once above the right eye, according to The Daily Times archives.

Two charges for aggravated battery and possession of a firearm or destructive device by a felon were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Lopez has previous convictions for receiving a stolen vehicle, possession of dangerous drugs, escape from a facility and burglary, according to court documents.

Members of Yazzie's and Lopez's family spoke during the hearing.

Yazzie's mother and sister told Dean that the injuries Yazzie suffered from the shooting have changed his life. They spoke about Yazzie requiring the use of a wheelchair as he is fed and bathed, and they said they wanted justice served for what happened to him.

Lopez told Dean he felt "slandered" and was placed in the wrong light by the prosecution. Lopez claimed he was defending himself when he shot Yazzie.

He added he was truly sorry for what happened and that he enrolled in counseling services after he was released from the county jail on April 10.

Lopez was taken into custody by the San Juan County Sheriff's Office at the end of the hearing.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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