Three charged in Marlen Ochoa-Lopez murder case plead not guilty

Cook County prosecutors added two dozen new counts to the indictment against two of the suspects, but there are no charges yet connected to the death of Marlen Ochoa-Lopez’s newborn, who died after weeks on life support.

SHARE Three charged in Marlen Ochoa-Lopez murder case plead not guilty
Yovani López lleva una camiseta con la imagen de su esposa, Marlen Ochoa-López, al salir de una audiencia en la Corte Penal de Leighton en 2019.

Andy Grimm/Sun-Times

Cook County prosecutors Wednesday stacked new charges against two women accused of killing Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, but did not add counts related to the death of the teenage mother’s newborn son who died last week after more than a month on life support.

Clarisa Figueroa and her daughter, Desiree, entered not guilty pleas Wednesday to a 27-count indictment that includes charges of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery of a child and dismembering a body. The pair, accused of strangling the pregnant Ochoa-Lopez, 19, and cutting her unborn child from her belly, were arrested in May, when newborn Yovanny Jadiel Lopez remained on life support.

The infant died June 14 after several weeks in an intensive care unit, having suffered severe brain damage in the fatal attack on his mother. Prosecutors still could add murder charges to the counts against the Figueroas tied to the infant’s death.

Clarisa Figueroa’s boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, who prosecutors say cleaned up the murder scene and claimed the infant was his son in a bid to get charitable donations, is charged with concealing a homicidal death and obstruction of justice. Bobak also pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Desiree Figueroa’s lawyer has requested a gag order in the case that would bar prosecutors and the defense from talking to the media about the case, and, in an unusual step, would also block Ochoa-Lopez’s husband, Yovani Lopez, and activists who have rallied around the family from talking to the media. Judge Sophia Atcherson, filling at the hearing for Judge Peggy Chiampas, did not make a ruling on the request.

Lopez, usually accompanied by activist Julie Contreras, has held impromptu press conferences after each hearing in the case, proclaiming the three defendants’ guilt and demanding harsh charges for them.

Wednesday, as Lopez and other family members held posters with the three defendants’ mugshots above the word “guilty,” Contreras said the family would not back down.

“We have civil rights,” she said. “There was nothing civil and nothing right about what happened.”

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