Two men sentenced to life in prison for 2020 Lindsay murder

No parole possible for those sentenced in beating, shooting death of 45-year-old Albert Lopez

FRESNO COUNTY – A Fresno Superior Court judge last month sentenced a Sanger man and Parlier man to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the beating and fatal shooting of a man in Lindsay three years ago.

Sabino Palacios Jr.

Oscar Jose Morales, 47, of Sanger and Sabino Palacios Jr., 44, of Parlier were found guilty of first-degree murder back in March for the 2020 death of 45-year-old Albert Lopez of Lindsay. On April 24, a Fresno County District Attorney’s Office news release reported that Superior Court Judge Kimberly Gaab handed down life sentences to Morales and Palacios. Morales was issued an additional term of 5 years determinate and Palacios received an additional 25 years determinate sentence from Judge Gaab.

Oscar Morales

The killing of Lopez occurred on Jan. 25, 2020, when Morales and Palacios – both connected to gang activity in the Fresno area – traveled from Sanger to Lindsay with the plan to rob Lopez at his residence. After arriving with a co-conspirator at Lopez’s house, according to the news release, both men entered Lopez’s garage and carrying pistols and began to beat him while demanding narcotics.

When Lopez did not reply, Morales then shot and killed Lopez and then fled the scene, returning to Sanger. After the robbery conspiracy and murder, Morales then additionally threatened a witness in the case while in custody at Fresno County Jail in March of 2021.

Morales and Palacios were arrested in April 2020 by detectives from the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (M.A.G.E.C.) as part of “Operation Southern Bell”, a large investigation into criminal street gang activity in Sanger and Selma.

The M.A.G.E.C. was assisted in the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lindsay Police Department, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, the Fresno Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the California Department of Justice, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

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