SAN DIEGO (AP) — A former Scottsbluff man whose two children died in a fire at their home has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors said Henry Lopez, of San Diego, fell asleep with a lit cigarette, sparking a fire in his Rancho Bernardo home in 2017. His 10-year-old son, Cristos, died from burns and his 7-year-old daughter, Isabella, died from smoke inhalation.
KGTV-TV says Lopez’s attorney contended a defective cellphone, not a cigarette, was the likely cause of the blaze.
In addition to manslaughter, Lopez was found guilty Monday of child endangerment and recklessly causing a fire causing great bodily injury.
He could be sentenced to more than 16 ½ years in prison.