PHOENIX (AP) -- A man who fled Arizona after being convicted of first-degree murder and child abuse in 2012 has been arrested in Nevada.
The U.S. Marshals Service says Jose Lopez was taken into custody Thursday night at a Las Vegas apartment complex.
Lopez had posted bond after his arrest in the 2007 death of 21-month-old Mia Alvarez and was required to attend his trial.
Pinal County prosecutors say Lopez fled the courthouse during a lunch recess and wasn't present when the jury announced its verdict in July 2012. A warrant was issued for his arrest.
Authorities say Lopez had been babysitting for his fiancee in Arizona City in July 2007.
He was accused of seriously injuring the girl, who suffered skull fractures and bruises. She died days later at a Phoenix hospital.
"The investigation and apprehension of child predators is our number one priority," stated U.S. Marshal David P. Gonzales, "There is nothing that can ease the suffering that the family of this little girl had to endure, but I hope the arrest of Lopez gives them some peace of mind."
Sheriff Paul Babeu stated, "Every day across the country members of the U.S. Marshals Office work with local, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Arizona is fortunate to have U.S. Marshal David Gonzales and his Violent Offender Task Force. Many times criminals flee state lines and think they are safe but once the U.S. Marshal Office targets a fleeing felon their days of freedom are numbered."
Lopez is currently incarcerated at the Clark County Detention Center awaiting extradition to Pinal
He faces a presumptive term of 35 years in prison on the murder charge, and 17 years
on the child abuse charge, which must be served consecutively.
Arrest warrant issued for man found guilty of murder
© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.