Pixel Tracker

Monday, January 21 , 2019, 2:21 pm | Fair 63º

 
 
 
 

Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Slaying of Homeless Man on Santa Barbara’s Eastside

A homeless man suspected of killing another man living on the streets on Santa Barbara's Eastside last month entered a not-guilty plea in court on Thursday.

Enson Junior Lopez

Enson Junior Lopez, 32, was taken into custody Feb. 27 on murder charges related to the death of Ian Justin O’Brien Nichols, 40, whose bloody remains were found up against a MarBorg Industries building in the 100 block of North Quarantina Street, according to Santa Barbara police.

Police responded to the scene just before 7 a.m., when first responders were dispatched for a medical emergency. 

Nichols' body had been discovered by a passerby in the area, who notified a MarBorg employee, who called police.

Lopez was located in the 800 block of Cacique Street several hours after Nichols' body was found, and police said both men were homeless.

The incident is believed to have occurred during the late-night hours Thursday or early Friday after some sort of altercation occurred between the men.

Police have not released any new information on the murder.

On Thursday, Lopez appeared in Santa Barbara Superior Court with his attorney, Mark Owens.  

Lopez entered a plea before Judge Thomas Adams, and is scheduled to be back in court for a preliminary hearing setting on March 25, according to prosecutor Mary Barron.

Lopez's bail remains set at $1 million.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

{/section_sidebar_items}{/layout:set}

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >