A wicked stepmother who starved and tortured an 11-year-old boy to death was confronted in court by his grieving relatives as she was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison.
Roman Lopez’s emaciated body was thrown into a holding tank after months of being subjected to disgusting abuse, including being locked in a box and poison spiked into his water.
Lindsay Piper, 40, was convicted Friday after pleading guilty to a count of second-degree murder in Placerville, California.
Judge Vicki Ashworth said she “didn’t deserve it [Roman’s] stepmother, frankly” and “the court cannot think of a worse person than this.”
The judge added, “It is truly appalling and awful to know what this little boy went through at the hands of Piper.”
The wicked stepmother refused to look at Roman’s paternal grandmother Jackie Farah as she shared memories of his short life.
Jackie told the court Roman spent his first seven years with her before moving in with his father Jordan Piper and stepmother Lindsay.
Now she feels guilty for unknowingly “giving him over to the devil,” Jackie said.
She added: “I’m so sorry for her entire family. Evil must be held accountable.”
Roman’s mother, Rochelle Lopez, died last April, about 15 months after her son, and was buried next to him, reports CBS13.
Rochelle’s sister, Lennox, spoke on her behalf at the sentencing hearing and remembered Roman as a “goofy, kind, compassionate and thoughtful 11-year-old boy whose life ended too soon”.
And she asked the court, “What kind of person tortures a child?”
The judge also heard from two of Lindsay’s own teenage sons – who said horrifically that they not only suffered abuse at their hands but also participated in the torture of their step-brother Roman.
A boy said, “I never found the strength to tell the truth. If I had, he might be alive.”
He said his mother told her children to lie about the abuse they suffered and took them out of school to avoid questions from teachers and social workers.
“Lindsay spent years telling lies,” the tearful boy said of his mother. “I hope you never come out.”
Stifling a sob of his own, his brother told his mother, “You’re making me sick.”
“Not just Roman, seven kids you abused,” he added.
The emotionless Piper refused to look in her sons’ direction as they explained how she had tortured all seven children in the household.
Little Roman was tied with one hand in the air and at other times locked in a box or closet without food.
The judge said Roman weighed just 42 pounds when he died – the same as when he was five years old.
Piper was also accused of putting a poison in his drinking water.
His death shocked the close-knit community in Placerville.
When Roman was reported missing in January 2020, neighbors spent the night knocking on doors in a frantic search.
The next day, they were heartbroken to learn that police had found his body in a storage container in the basement of the Piper family home.
He was severely malnourished and dehydrated, an autopsy revealed.
Over a year later, Lindsay and Jordan Piper were arrested for child molestation, poisoning and torture.
The second-degree murder charge was added in October after evidence from other children living in the home.
Both denied any wrongdoing, but in May, Lindsay did not contest the murder charges. The other charges were dismissed as part of the deal.
She was sentenced to life imprisonment and is eligible for parole in 15 years.
Jordan Piper, 37, is being held in custody awaiting trial for sexually exploiting a child.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5765354/roman-lopez-storage-bin-stepmother-torture/ Huge new update in case 11-year-old boy was found dead in a storage tank after shocking details emerged about his death