FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A man will spend 10 to 14 years in prison after being sentenced on Tuesday following a fatal shooting in 2021 in Winston-Salem, according to a statement released by the office of District Attorney James O’Neill.
Charli Sanchez Lopez, 24, entered a plea of guilty to voluntary manslaughter for the killing of Demar Marquis Floyd, 27,
Just after 9 p.m. April 10, 2021, the defendant, who was likely with several still-unidentified people, drove to the home of Floyd’s sister and several other members of his family, and a shootout ensued.
Responding officers located Floyd near the front doorway. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Several of the spent casings on the road from the homicide scene were linked by ballistics to spent casings which were later located in the bed and cab of the defendant’s truck, which had a distinctive after-market running light that matched that of one of the vehicles captured on a neighbor’s doorbell camera.
On April 11, 2021, officers attempted a traffic stop on the defendant’s truck for an unrelated offense.
Although the defendant drove away from the scene of the attempted traffic stop, he dropped his cell phone. Analyzing the defendant’s phone records, investigators found messages that linked him to the shooting and showed that he was at the home at the time of the shooting.
The defendant chose not to participate in a formal interview with police about his role in the shooting. Despite the presence of spent casings of different calibers at the scene, he spontaneously said that no one else was involved.
There were several actors that led the state to offer this plea. Of the nine people identified as being present at the time of the shooting, none of them agreed to respond to the police department for an interview.
While investigating, the lead detective made nearly ten trips to the home where the shooting happened, but no one from the home answered the door. Although he left his business card on the door each time, no one called him back.
First responding officers located a ring doorbell camera at the home and requested access to the footage. They were denied consent, with several occupants telling them that the camera was not working.
After obtaining a search warrant for the camera footage, officers saw video footage of one of the occupants shooting a distinctive 9mm handgun out of the house during the incident. Officers also heard audio of another occupant yelling, “Put away the drugs … the police are coming!”
Officers who searched the home on 10 April 10, 2021, found bullet holes fired outward from inside the house as well as items commonly used to package and sell illegal narcotics.
A single cooperative witness told detectives early in this investigation that the person firing the 9mm from inside the house toward the street was likely the intended target of the shooting, which was perpetrated in retaliation for a shooting that the occupant had allegedly committed several weeks earlier.
Officers found and arrested the person for charges related to that prior shooting. During his subsequent interview, he made multiple inconsistent statements about the April 10, 2021, shooting.
He denied handling a gun even though the video footage clearly showed him firing the distinctive 9mm handgun toward the road. He denied having any problems with anyone in the community even though ballistics linked the 9mm handgun he used on April 10, 2021, to at least two other shootings from the previous month.
He denied being involved in drug activity despite the presence of drug-dealing paraphernalia throughout the house. He also provided law enforcement with a fake password to his phone, impeding investigators’ attempts to gather additional information about Floyd’s murder.
After his eventual arrest for possession of a firearm by a felon and discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling, he called two of his associates from the detention center with the following instructions:
- to respond to the police department in order to “take his charges”
- not to tell police the whole story about what happened the night of the April 10, 2021, shooting
- to omit his name from whatever account they provide
- to deny that he used the 9mm handgun on April, 10, 2021
The defendant also entered a plea of guilty to discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling at a home on July 20, 2020.
The defendant, a record level one with no prior criminal convictions, was represented by Mr. James Quander. Matt Breeding appeared on behalf of the state.
The Honorable William Long, the superior court judge presiding over the August 7, 2023, session of criminal administrative court, heard the plea.
Judge Long sentenced the defendant to two consecutive active sentences of 64-89 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections for a total of 128-178 months (10 years and 8 months – 14 years and 10 months).