Convicted murderer sentenced for stabbing NC CO

The inmate stabbed CO Robby Benfield four times with a nearly 7-inch, homemade shank


News-Topic, Lenoir, N.C.

A man who was accused of stabbing a corrections officer at Foothills Correctional Institution in Morganton last March had up to nine more years added on top of a prison sentence he already was serving in two Gaston County slayings.

Jose Adan Lopez-Rios, 21, of Gastonia pleaded guilty in Burke Superior Court of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

On March 7, 2018, Lopez-Rios stabbed Robby Benfield, a corrections officer, four times with a nearly 7-inch, homemade shank, striking him in the lower neck, left shoulder and twice in the back, also causing lung injuries. He tried to stab another officer before fleeing into a housing wing of the unit and being apprehended.

Benfield was treated at a local hospital for five days, the district attorney's office said in a press release.

Lopez-Rios was in the Morganton prison serving a 28-year sentence for two second-degree murder convictions in 2017 in the May 2016 shooting deaths of two friends of his, Derreck Monique Brice and Brice's cousin, Lashea Jeanine Coleman, who had cerebral palsy. Investigators never determined why he shot them, and he never provided an explanation, the Gaston Gazette reported.

Superior Court Judge Robert C. Ervin sentenced Lopez-Rios to seven to nine years in prison in the stabbing. That sentence will begin after the other sentence ends.

Upon his release from prison, Lopez-Rios will be deported to his home country of Honduras.

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©2019 the News-Topic (Lenoir, N.C.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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