ATLANTIC CITY — A Ventnor man was indicted Wednesday on nine charges, including murder, in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend and stabbing of a man she was with in February, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.

Jose B. Lopez, 51, was arrested Feb. 19, one day after Atlantic City police found Bessy Blanco, 54, stabbed to death inside her home on North Harrisburg Avenue. Blanco’s friend Mark Richart, 52, of Quakertown, Pennsylvania, was found critically stabbed in the street outside the home.

Lopez, who has been in county jail since his arrest, was indicted on 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. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

At a detention hearing in February, prosecutors described Lopez as a jealous ex-boyfriend who allegedly called Blanco’s daughter after the murder to blame her for what happened.

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

When he was arrested by Galloway Township Police, Lopez was found in Richart’s car.

Assistant Prosecutor Rick McKelvey represents the state in this case. Lopez was represented at the detention hearing by Stephen Funk.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 609-909-7666 or the Atlantic City Police Department at 609-347-5766.



Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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