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Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Sines '82 in The Washington Post

Tuesday, July 31, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
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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.

Hours 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 Homicide 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 nation. 
 
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 fellowship there.


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