Joseph Lopez, 23, was charged with first-degree murder on Feb. 8, following Bollinger’s death late last year. At the time, Lopez told police he had killed her in response to a Craigslist ad Bollinger created titled "I want to put a hit on myself." He also claimed the teen provided the gun.
In exchange for pleading guilty to second-degree murder, Lopez avoided a death sentence, but is still going to be behind bars for a large portion of his adult life.
Regardless of the Craigslist ad, police say Lopez responded inhumanely and should have called 911 or reached out for assistance. "He didn't respond as a human being," Chief Deputy District Attorney Ally Baber said. "He responded as a predator."
Investigators found texts between Lopez and Bollinger on her cell phone, where the teen said she wanted to be “executed.”
"He had hours and hours of opportunity to do the right thing and save her life, but he chose to murder her," Baber said.
Bollinger’s body was found outside of Denver in a wooded area, after she was reported missing on Dec. 28, 2017. “There’s no justice in this,” father Ted Bollinger told KMGH. “And for Adams County to have enough evidence to convict him and then make him an offer is a spit in my family’s face.”
The teen’s father says the plea agreement is “a deal with the devil."
"You took advantage of my daughter," Ted Bollinger reportedly said. "She was vulnerable and drugged...You premeditated. Brutally shot and killed my baby. I asked for an eye for an eye. You have been protected. The Bollinger family had no say in this."