A Rancho Bernardo, California man pleaded not guilty to charges of Child Endangerment causing death, reckless fire starting causing great bodily injury and involuntary manslaughter after authorities believe he passed out with a lit cigarette. Authorities believe he drank himself asleep, dropping the lit cigarette. The cigarette set his Bernardo Terrace condo on fire. His two children were in the home with him at the time of the fire. 10-year-old Cristos Lopez and 7-year-old Isabella succumbed to injuries related to the fire at the hospital. Henry Lopez faces up to 14 years in prison if he is convicted. The mother of the children had recently requested full custody of her children. The couple was separated and in the middle of a divorce but still owned the home together.
A San Diego Superior Court judge required Lopez to abstain from alcohol and wear an alcohol monitoring device at all times as a condition of his release. An alcohol-monitoring device such as a SCRAM bracelet monitors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for alcohol consumption. The device is worn on the ankle and tests every 30 minutes. The device cannot be removed unless ordered and requires complete abstinence.