Legal Briefs

Unexpected Discovery and Disclosure in the Stidham Murder


Dr. Brian Stidham had been dead for nearly three days before Lourdes Lopez sat down with Pima County Sheriff's Det. Jill Murphy to explain what she had heard over and over from her former fiancé, Dr. Brad Schwartz, the man who is accused of orchestrating Stidham's slaying: That he wanted his former ophthalmologist associate dead.

Brick Storts, Schwartz's attorney, is trying to keep Lopez's statements out of court, saying that what Schwartz told her is protected by the attorney-client privilege. In response, Pinal County prosecutors, who are trying the case, said Lopez was not acting as Schwartz's lawyer when he was supposedly speaking about his rage. Murphy: All right, would he talk about wanting, um, Dr. Stidham dead, you know, every week, every day or ... what was the frequency?

Lopez: I, I would imagine that when we were together, and remember we broke up in May, it was, there was a period of time where it was pretty much constant. It was like, I'm gonna fucking get him. That fucking guy's gonna die. He's gonna fucking die. And, you know, he always asked me about evidence. I used to be a prosecutor.

Murphy: Yes.

Lopez: I'm a defense lawyer.

Murphy: Yes.

Lopez: I'd share cases with him, never people's names, but, you know ... your file is open. You can see pictures and, (he'd ask) "How do the police do this, and how do police do that?"

Murphy: Right.

Lopez: So he would ask me questions about, um, "What would happen if they found child pornography in his office?" You know, just to get him framed is what he wanted. He wanted him to be humiliated. And the, the, the, the conversations also said, "You know, he's gonna get his."

Later, Lopez said she told Schwartz to "'... let your anger go. You need to just let it go.' I was actually gonna marry him, so I was doing classes to convert to Judaism ... and I would sit with him to learn about Judaism and it was really wonderful and we would talk about, like, Yom Kippur, and how Yom Kippur was about letting go of the anger that you had in your heart and to let God allow you to have, you know, uh, peace, and we would leave and I would be like, 'What a great class. That's exactly what I'm talking about, Brad.'"

Schwartz's response, according to Lopez, was: "Fuck that. ... I'm just so angry. You don't understand. I have to piss for the Pretrial Services. I have to fuckin' meet with them. I have to do what the fuckin' Board tells me. I, you know, fucking hate my mom and dad. I have to go to rehab. My practice went to shit. I'm going through a divorce ... ."

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