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Son will spend the rest of his life in prison for beating 72-year-old mom to death with a log from family’s fireplace in unprovoked attack

Danny Lopes Jr.

Danny Lopes Jr. pictured during a court appearance next to an attorney (image via WCVB screengrab)

A Massachusetts man was found guilty Tuesday of beating his 72-year-old mother to death with a log from the family’s fireplace more than five years ago and for intimidating a witness against him.

Danny Lopes Jr., 39, was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder in the 2017 death of Julia Fernandes. He’s set to be sentenced on March 1 in Plymouth Superior Court.

Under Massachusetts law, first-degree premeditated murder with extreme cruelty is automatically punishable by life in prison without parole.

According to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, Lopes’ trial spanned 12 days, and jurors sealed his fate after deliberating for over two hours.

The drama happened on Aug. 27, 2017, when police received information that an older woman had been murdered in a home at 93 Columbus Avenue. Once there, police said they found the victim dead from apparent signs of trauma, prosecutors said in a news release.

At trial, jurors heard testimony that investigators found a fireplace log that Lopes had used to beat her with, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said Lopes killed her without warning and provocation, according to ABC Boston affiliate WCVB.

One of Lopes’ family members told West Bridgewater police about the killing, The Enterprise reported. He was accused of showing the unidentified woman his mother’s body wrapped in a blanket in a bedroom.

The relative had reportedly believed Lopes was on drugs and not serious when he said, “I killed someone. I killed my mom.”

After leaving the murder scene, Lopes traveled to North Providence in Rhode Island.

Lopes was found at a cousin’s home and was taken into custody near a Rhode Island police station, the Associated Press reported at the time.

The defendant was also convicted of intimidating a witness against him. That grand jury witness, prosecutors said, was sent a threatening letter.

Danny Lopes Jr.

Danny Lopes Jr. (North Providence Police Department)

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.