Woman sentenced for fatally shooting her boyfriend in Chanhassen last year

A Carver County judge sentenced a St. Paul woman to 20 years in prison after she admitted to shooting her boyfriend in the head last year

Vanessa Sanchez Lopez, 19, was convicted of second-degree murder by drive-by shooting after shooting and killing her 17-year-old boyfriend in February 2023. 

Court documents show she pleaded guilty to that charge in exchange for another charge of second-degree murder with intent, not premeditated, being dropped. 

Lopez was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but was also given 422 days of credit for time already served. 

The criminal complaint states the shooting happened when Lopez, who was 18 at the time, was sitting in the driver's seat of a Nissan Maxima that was parked in the driveway of a Chanhassen home. Lopez reportedly pointed the gun at her boyfriend, who was sitting in the passenger seat, and pulled the trigger. Witnesses say the two were arguing about infidelity before the shooting. 

Court documents say one of the witnesses drove the car to a hospital in Edina after the shooting and attracted police attention because he was speeding. Law enforcement say they pursued and even used stop sticks to try and stop the car before it arrived at Fairview Southdale Hospital on deflated tires. 

Multiple people were reportedly in the car at the time of the shooting and confirmed that Lopez fired the fatal shot. 

The 17-year-old was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Lopez will serve her sentence at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Shakopee.