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Catoosa County Sheriff's Office / Belinda Lopez

A 41-year-old woman has been arrested and is being charged with the killing of her 35-year-old husband, who was shot in Catoosa County in March.

Belinda Lopez is accused of murdering Noel Lopez after he was found dead in the driver's seat of his car with a gunshot wound to the head about 3 a.m. on March 1, near exit 348 on I-75.

Noel and Belinda Lopez, from Dalton, and another woman were in the car at the time of the incident, authorities said, adding that the three of them were drinking at a bar in Chattanooga about 11 p.m. and continued to drink for several hours.

At the time, the women told investigators there was a "mutually physical domestic argument" going on between Noel and Belinda in the front seat while Noel Lopez was driving.

Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk said a gun "became involved" and it discharged, striking Noel Lopez in the head, killing him. The gunshot caused a major crash on I-75 and closed all lanes for two and a half hours early that Sunday morning.

Sisk said in a news release that the sheriff's office obtained a warrant based on evidence from the crime lab.

Belinda Lopez was arrested Friday and is in the Catoosa County jail awaiting her first court appearance.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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