DES MOINES, Iowa – A 31-year-old man investigators believe is responsible for killing three people inside a Des Moines home late Tuesday night was a “twice-removed illegal alien” from Guatemala, Local 5 in Des Moines confirmed.
Marvin Esquivel Lopez appeared in Polk County court on Thursday. He is charged with killing Rossibeth Flores Rodriguez and her two children, 11-year-old Grecia Daniela Alvarado-Flores, and 5-year-old son Ever Jose Mejia-Flores.
Through an interpreter, he asked why he was being charged with three crimes, claiming one was in self-defense.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Escobar-Orellana, also known as Marvin O. Esquivel Lopez, “was previously removed (deported) from the United States in 2010 and again in 2011. He has a prior federal conviction for illegal entry into the United States in 2010. He is not currently in ICE custody,” said Shawn Neudauer, ICE spokesman.
Esquivel Lopez is currently facing three first-degree murder charges in Polk County. On July 16, according to ICE, “deportation officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) filed an immigration detainer and administrative arrest warrant with the Polk County (Iowa) Jail on Marvin Oswaldo Escobar-Orellana.”
ICE says an alien who re-enters the U.S. after having been previously deported commits a felony, which — depending on an alien’s criminality — is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, if convicted.
Esquivel Lopez, according to the court documents, entered a home on Day Street on Tuesday night. Rossibeth Flores Rodriguez and Esquivel Lopez, according to Esquivel Lopez, had an argument inside the home, records say. Esquivel Lopez “admitted to possessing a firearm and shooting” Flores-Rodriguez, “but he claimed this was in self-defense.” According to the information the police obtained, those details were “refuted by a witness who saw the defendant arm himself with a handgun and shoot and kill Rossibeth Flores Rodriguez without justification.”
Esquivel-Lopez appeared in Polk County court on Thursday morning. His bond was set at $3 million.