Crime

2nd man charged with murder in killing of model, 2 others

David Lopez has been charged with three counts of murder in connection with a triple homicide on Norris Avenue in February.
David Lopez has been charged with three counts of murder in connection with a triple homicide on Norris Avenue in February.

Police have charged a second suspect with murder in connection with a north Charlotte triple homicide that made national headlines because one of the victims had been a contestant on “America’s Next Top Model.”

David Ezequel Lopez, 19, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the February deaths of Jonathan Alvarado, Jusmar Isiah Gonzaga-Garcia, and Mirjana Puhar.

Lopez was interviewed by homicide detectives Thursday night and booked into Mecklenburg County jail.

Police believe the killings on Norris Avenue, a mile north of uptown, were drug-related and that the first suspect arrested, 19-year-old Emmanuel Jesus Rangel, knew the people he’s accused of killing. Police have not said what role they believe Lopez played in the killings.

Puhar was a contestant last year on “America’s Next Top Model.”

She was born in Serbia, and after the Kosovo War, her family fled the country with $50 to their name, she told the Observer in an interview last year. They moved to North Carolina a decade ago. Puhar attended East Mecklenburg High, then Queen’s Grant High in Mint Hill before dropping out at age 16. She later earned her GED at Central Piedmont Community College.

Wootson: 704-358-5046;

Twitter: @CleveWootson

  Comments