Visalia man sentenced for attempted murder

(Rigo Moran)

Lorenzo Pineda receives sentence of 86-years-to-life in prison on conviction of attempted murder for gas station shooting back in 2017

VISALIA – Earlier this week in the Visalia Division of the Tulare County Superior Court, the court sentenced Lorenzo Pineda, 28, to a total of 86 years-to-life in prison for attempted murder.

On August 2, 2017, around 6 p.m., the victim was eating dinner with his parents at a restaurant inside the Circle 7 gas station in Visalia. As the group was eating, Lorenzo Pineda and Jorge Pineda, who were both gang members, arrived to order tacos. An argument soon ensued over a 2013 incident between the two families.

Visalia native Lorenzo Pineda was sentenced to 86 years to life in prison for attempted murder in a gas-station shooting back in 2017.

During the argument, the victim went outside and met with a group of opposing gang members who then entered the restaurant. The argument escalated and as the group moved outside, Lorenzo Pineda drew a handgun from his waistband and fired eight shots at multiple victims. One victim was shot twice and went through extensive medical treatment. Both Pinedas jumped into a car and fled. The incident was caught on surveillance video and a warrant for Lorenzo Pineda was issued.

In August 2018, Jorge Pineda pleaded no contest to felony assault with a semiautomatic weapon and assault with a firearm. Both counts were enhanced with special allegations that the crimes constituted street terrorism. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Lorenzo Pineda hid from law enforcement by using the assumed name “Angel Torres” and worked in the fields throughout the Central Valley. He turned himself in on May 22, 2023. At trial in early May, Pineda was convicted by a jury of three counts of willful, deliberate and premeditated attempted murder of the three different victims. The jury further found the special allegation that the defendant discharged a firearm in the commission of the crimes, causing great bodily injury to one victim. 

The jury further found that the attempted murders were committed at the direction of, for the benefit of or in association with a criminal street gang. In addition, the jury found the aggravating factors of the crime involved great violence, great bodily harm, threat of great bodily harm or other acts disclosing a high degree of cruelty, viciousness or callousness; the defendant was armed with or used a firearm at the time of the commission of the crime; and that the defendant has engaged in violent conduct that indicates a serious danger to society.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Caldwell and was investigated by the Visalia Police Department’s special enforcement and violent crimes units.

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