MAYS LANDING — The Ventnor man who pleaded guilty in the 2017 murder of his ex-girlfriend is slated to be sentenced Thursday.

Jose B. Lopez, who entered his plea to murder and attempted murder in November, is scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Bernard E. DeLury Jr. in Atlantic County Superior Court.

Lopez, 53, was arrested after 54-year-old Bessy Blanco was found stabbed to death inside her home on North Harrisburg Avenue in Atlantic City on Feb. 18, 2017. Blanco’s friend, Mark Richart, who was with her at the time, was also found stabbed on the street outside the home, but survived the incident.

The murder charge carries a prison term of 30 years without parole. The attempted murder charge carries a 20-year term of which Lopez must serve 85 percent, according to the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office. The sentences will be served concurrently.

According to statements from the affidavit, Lopez was kicked out of Blanco’s home days before the murder and was staying with his mother in Ventnor.

Prosecutors described Lopez as a jealous ex-boyfriend who allegedly called Blanco’s daughter after the murder to blame her for what happened.

Lopez, who was indicted in May 2017 on nine charges — three counts of murder and one count each of attempted murder, burglary, armed robbery, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, theft and carjacking — has been in the Atlantic County jail since his arrest.

Contact: 609-272-7241

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments