Leesburg convenience store clerk’s widow hopes prosecutors seek life sentence over death penalty

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The wife of the convenience store clerk shot and killed during a robbery in Leesburg in May said she hopes prosecutors go for life in prison instead of the death penalty.


Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents caught up with Alex Lopez in a Kissimmee Motel after Lopez spent 27 days on the run.

Police said Lopez shot and killed 51-year-old Raied Shihadeh before stealing less than $100 from the store’s register. At the time, Shihadeh was FaceTiming his wife.

“Everyone has been distraught by the loss of my husband, but it was exacerbated by the fact that hit the criminal that murdered him was not incarcerated,” Monique Shihadeh said, calling the arrest a weight lifted off.

Read: Police arrest Central Florida man accused of killing Leesburg store owner

However, Shihadeh called the death penalty an easy way out, and said she wanted Lopez’s suffering to last longer, if he is convicted.

“For him to sit on death row with an impending day of death… would that be suffering? Yes, but it wouldn’t be enough,” she said. “I feel like he should suffer for the rest of his life.”

Lopez will be transferred to Lake County to begin the criminal legal process and face his four charges. Prosecutors have not announced their plans moving forward.

Shihadeh said she will remember her husband for his kindness and generosity.

“I don’t want them to remember him as a murder victim because he has a name,” she explained. “He was a person and he was a person of so much more than this action.”

Read: Police identify suspect in Leesburg convenience store clerk’s shooting death

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