Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Sines '82 in The Washington Post
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Sines '82 was quoted today in The Washington Post discussing her case. Prosecutors had charged Blanca Ortiz, 47, with first-degree murder while armed in the Jan. 8, 2007
fatal stabbing of Gabriela Jose Lopez Hernandez, 29. Prosecutors had
previously offered Ortiz a plea of second-degree murder that was
rejected; over the weekend, prosecutors offered the lesser charge, and
Ortiz accepted Monday.
From The Washington Post: "A jury trial might have been challenging for Deborah Sines and Glenn
Kirschner, among the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s most senior homicide
prosecutors. No DNA linked Ortiz to the killing, and investigators had
found no weapons or eyewitnesses.
But at Monday’s proceedings,
Sines outlined various pieces of evidence that she thought would have
convinced a jury of Ortiz’s guilt.
Security video showed Ortiz
entering Lopez’s apartment the morning prosecutors think she was killed,
then leaving three hours later. Ortiz told detectives in separate
interviews that she was only inside for a few minutes and then, later,
that she was there for about an hour.
Ortiz told detectives she
was wearing a brown overcoat when she visited Lopez. But in the video,
prosecutors say, she was wearing a blue coat. Police never found it,
leading them to think Ortiz discarded the coat after killing Lopez.
after prosecutors say Lopez was attacked in her apartment, Sines said
Ortiz told her landlord that she wanted to break her lease and planned
to return to Argentina.
Sines also spoke of pictures on Lopez’s
cellphone and computer that showed the women kissing, embracing,
vacationing and spending holidays together.
"They had an extremely
close, personal relationship,” Sines said. Authorities asserted that
the number of stab wounds indicated a crime of passion committed by
someone in a close relationship with Lopez."
Read the full article in The Washington Post, "Woman pleads guilty in 2007 killing of D.C. paralegal"
Deborah Sines has been investigating and prosecuting homicide cases for 16 years and
is currently the Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to cold cases of the
Homicide Division. Ms. Sines has also served as a Deputy Chief of the
Section, supervising homicide prosecutors in the U.S. Attorneys Office
for the District of Columbia – widely recognized as the premier U.S.
Attorneys Office in the country.
Prior to joining the U.S. Attorneys Office, Ms. Sines served as a
trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights
Division, Criminal Section, where she prosecuted racial violence cases,
police excessive use of force cases, and one slavery case throughout the
She began her legal career as a defense attorney in 1983. She
received her B.A. from George Washington University and her J.D. from
Antioch School of Law. Thereafter she received an L.L.M. from
Georgetown University Law Center in trial advocacy, following her