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Nevada death row inmate died of natural causes, coroner rules

The Clark County coroner’s office ruled Thursday that a death row inmate died of natural causes in May.

Manuel Lopez, 62, died May 4 from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, the coroner’s office said.

Lopez was most recently at High Desert State Prison, about 40 miles northwest of Las Vegas, after he was sentenced to death for the 1985 killing of his 4-year-old stepdaughter.

The girl, Jessica Cevallos, was beat, burnt with scalding water and hung from a hook by her hair before her death, the girl’s mother, Maria Lopez, testified during the trial, according to the Review-Journal.

Archives show that Lopez was initially charged with accessory to felony child abuse after Jessica’s body was found at the family home near Owens Avenue and Mojave Road in North Las Vegas. She was later granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony against her husband.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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