This is a home in the south central area of Springfield where the crime took place. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

A man who shot and killed a woman Saturday evening, before turning the gun on himself, had pleaded guilty to domestic assault in September and at that time was sentenced to seven years in prison. But instead, he was released on a suspended execution of sentence.

In a suspended execution of sentence, defendants first plead guilty, then are sentenced to prison — but they do not go to prison if they follow the terms of their probation.

Lavare W. D. Everett, 44, entered such a negotiated plea before Circuit Judge David C. Jones, and as part of that agreement, according to online court records, he agreed to have no contact with “C.L.”

Agreed not to have gun and to take a class

He also agreed not to possess weapons or ammunition and to complete a domestic violence class.

Everett pleaded guilty to domestic assault in the third degree, a Class E felony. The victim is identified as “C. L.” In criminal documents, victims are identified only by initials.

In a city news release issued today, Tuesday, Dec. 6, Springfield police concluded that Everett shot and killed Christina Lopez, 45, before killing himself.

Police had responded to a 911 call at 7:03 p.m. Dec. 3 and found their two dead bodies at a residence at 731 W. Whiteside St.

Lopez had been renting that home. She was the sole tenant for about 2½ years, said Noel Lewis, 94, of Springfield, who owns the house and knew Lopez.

The Springfield Police Department was dispatched to 731 W. Whiteside Street after receiving a 911 call. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

She worked hard as a nursing assistant

“God, that is terrible,” Lewis said Tuesday when informed Lopez had been shot and killed.

Lewis said Lopez had worked for him full time for years in caring for his wife, who is unable to walk. But that had changed, and recently Lopez had been coming over only Sunday mornings.

“She did not show up on Sunday, so I thought maybe she had to work,” Lewis said. “I called over there and no one answered. I was going to go over there tomorrow.”

Lewis said he was fond of Lopez and helped her buy a red Jeep.

“She was a helluva good worker and took care of my wife and was an excellent cook,” he said.

He said Lopez was a certified nursing assistant and worked at a nursing home in Springfield. He said she was from Chicago and that he believes she has four children and that none lived with her.

Ordered to stay away as early as 2021

According to online court records, as early as Sept. 6, 2021, the court ordered that Everett not come within 1,000 feet of C. L.’s residence or place of employment.

Everett was charged with domestic assault based on two incidents that occurred in early 2020, according to public documents made available by the Circuit Clerk’s office.

Everett apparently at that time lived in an apartment complex just west of the city.

According to one document, C.L. told a Greene County Sheriff’s investigator that on Jan. 4 Everett hit her several times in the head with his fist and damaged her vehicle.

According to another court document, C.L. told an investigator that on March 31 of 2020 during an argument Everett twice shoved her to the ground.

The investigator reported: “C. L. had abrasions to her left ankle, left elbow and left forearm. The heel of her right hand was bruised, and she was complaining of pain to the left side of her ribs. C. L. was able to escape the situation via car and drive herself to the hospital.”

Steve Pokin

Steve Pokin writes the Pokin Around and The Answer Man columns for the Springfield Daily Citizen. He also writes about criminal justice issues. He can be reached at spokin@sgfcitizen.org. His office line is 417-837-3661. More by Steve Pokin