MAYS LANDING — “Although my mom taught me to not carry hate in my heart and she believed in forgiveness, I will never, never forgive this monster and I will always hate him as long as I live,” Ana Blanco said Thursday afternoon during the sentencing of the man who killed her mother, Bessy Blanco.

Jose B. Lopez, 53, of Ventnor, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of his ex-grilfriend, 54-year-old Blanco, who was found stabbed to death inside her home on North Harrisburg Avenue in Atlantic City on Feb. 18, 2017.

Lopez was also sentenced to 20 years for the attempted murder of Blanco’s friend, Mark Richart, who was found stabbed on the street outside the home but survived the incident.

He will serve the sentences concurrently.

Richart was present at the sentencing but did not give a statement.

Lopez, who appeared shackled and in an orange prison jumpsuit, kept his head lowered during his sentencing and declined to speak.

“Mr. Lopez has decided not to speak, but he certainly wants me to convey his remorse, his apologies,” said his attorney, Steve Scheffler. “He certainly wants both families to understand that, from the outset, he wishes he could dial back the clock and rewrite history.”

Superior Court Judge Bernard E. DeLury Jr. said Lopez’s “conduct and behavior in this case was particularly violent, bloody and gruesome” before handing down the sentence.

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.

He pleaded guilty to the murder and attempted murder in November.

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.

Ana Blanco called Lopez a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” “sociopath” and “pure evilness,” reading from a prepared statement.

“Now that he is being put away, practically for the rest of his life, I feel it will be another level of healing for us,” she said. “I’ve learned the hardest part of life is that we have to keep on living even when our world has stopped spinning and that healing doesn’t mean that the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.”

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.

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