In a tragic incident that occurred in Redwood City, a man who had violated a court order by moving into an apartment next to the mother of his child has been charged with murder. Prosecutors say that 44-year-old Jose Uriarte-Martinez, in a fit of jealousy, stabbed 17-year-old Yenifer Lopez and fatally attacked her mother, 44-year-old Yesenia Lopez-Hernandez, in their Redwood City home on July 30.
Uriarte-Martinez was apprehended by the police around 12:30 a.m. after they found him standing outside an apartment building on the 3200 block of Fair Oaks Avenue, his clothes splattered with blood. Following his arrest, Uriarte-Martinez was charged with four felonies, including murder, attempted murder, child abuse, and burglary. He appeared in court on Tuesday and pled not guilty to all charges.
According to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, Uriarte-Martinez and Lopez-Hernandez were previously in a relationship for about five years and shared a 5-year-old son. Despite a 10-year no-contact order issued since Uriarte-Martinez’s conviction for domestic violence against Lopez-Hernandez in 2022, the couple had disregarded the order and continued to live in close proximity. Uriarte-Martinez is also facing a misdemeanor charge for contempt of court for violating this order.
On the fateful day, Uriarte-Martinez, armed with a key and a kitchen knife, forcibly entered the victim’s apartment after learning that Lopez-Hernandez planned to relocate with their children. He then launched a vicious attack, repeatedly stabbing her in the chest, neck, and shoulder. Paramedics found her still alive but bleeding profusely. Sadly, she passed away after being transported to the hospital.
In a poignant online fundraiser, Lopez, her 17-year-old daughter, who was also stabbed in the chest during a brave attempt to protect her mother, shared her harrowing experience. In her heartfelt plea for support, she emphasized that her mother’s life was tragically cut short due to jealousy. Lopez has been fully cooperative with investigators, providing invaluable assistance in the ongoing investigation.
Following the attack on the victims, Uriarte-Martinez went into his son’s bedroom and apologized to the 5-year-old before his apprehension by the authorities. As a result of this horrific incident, Lopez now assumes responsibility for her young brother. She expressed gratitude for the financial support received thus far, which will aide in addressing the sudden changes in her life and assisting in repatriating her mother’s body. As of Thursday morning, the GoFundMe campaign had already generated around $15,000 of its $20,000 goal.
Uriarte-Martinez is currently held in custody with no bail and has been ordered to have no contact with his son and Lopez. His next court appearance is scheduled for October 8, during which a preliminary hearing date will be set.
This heartbreaking incident sheds light on the devastating consequences of domestic violence and the need for stricter enforcement of court orders meant to protect vulnerable individuals. The community mourns the loss of Yesenia Lopez-Hernandez and hopes for a swift and fair resolution in seeking justice for this heinous crime.