This is an archived article that was published on in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

After about five hours of deliberation, a jury determined Friday night that Komasquin Lopez is guilty of murdering his wife as they were riding in a truck.

His sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 23, according to court documents.

Lopez, 45, testified in his own defense earlier that day and denied he fired the gun.

"I never held a weapon to my wife's ear at all," Lopez testified.

On the witness stand, Lopez was emotional as he described the final moments before Shannon Lopez was shot Dec. 27, 2013.

Komasquin Lopez said that his wife had come to pick him up from work, and he immediately was upset with her because she was high on methamphetamine. He said they had agreed to use the drugs only on weekends, and that Shannon Lopez initially began using it just to lose weight.

"I could tell she was really high," the husband testified. "I've never seen her that high."

He began to drive their truck home, he said. As he approached a left-turn lane at the intersection of State Street and 7800 South, he testified that he told his wife that she was a "meth whore and I was going to leave her."

"I hit the gas and started turning left," he testified. "Then I hear a loud noise, BAM. I'm thinking she broke the window. I look to the right, I started screaming, 'Shannon! Shannon!' … There was blood everywhere."

The husband said he never saw a gun and didn't see Shannon Lopez put the gun to her head. He cried as he told jurors that he didn't think his wife meant to pull the trigger.

"To this day, I think it's an accident," he said. "… She didn't kill herself."

Komasquin Lopez was charged in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony murder and faces up to life in prison if convicted as charged. The jury of six men and two women began deliberations just before 5 p.m. Friday. The jurors had the option of finding the defendant not guilty or guilty of murder, manslaughter or negligent homicide.

During closing arguments Friday, Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney Langdon Fisher accused the defendant of pulling the trigger that day, saying it does not make sense for Shannon Lopez to kill herself when she was happy and had two children at home.

"We don't know why," he said. "If it was something she said that was the final straw. We don't know if he just go carried away because he was so mad and [squeezed] the trigger too tight. Maybe it was just muscle confusion, trying to threaten her and drive at the same time."

Defense attorney Andrea Garland said her client told the truth on the witness stand and had his hands on the wheel, not a gun, when the shot was fired.

"Shannon Lopez shot herself, and that's terrible," she said. "It's tragic. She was a very well-loved woman. But that's what happened."

Earlier in the trial, Utah Medical Examiner Todd Grey told jurors that whoever shot the gun had pressed the gun hard against Shannon Lopez's left ear before firing. But he said he could not determine whether the death was a homicide or a suicide.

Grey told the jurors that if the woman did kill herself, the location of the wound was "a little funny."

"An ear shot is not very common," he said. "People, when they shoot themselves in the head, they'll usually put it in the temple, in the forehead, in the mouth, above the chin. Shooting in the ear? It's a little weird."

Grey said it would also be "atypical" for a right-handed person, like Shannon Lopez, to shoot the left side of her head. He said that happens only about 15 percent of the time in cases he has reviewed.

The medical examiner also told jurors that Shannon Lopez had a potentially fatal amount of meth in her system when she died.

Just after the gun was fired inside Lopez's pickup, his vehicle crashed into another.

As police began investigating the accident and Shannon Lopez's death, they were suspicious of her husband and his inconsistent stories of what happened in the cab of the truck. He was charged with murder several weeks after her death.

Twitter: @jm_miller