Barber convicted of murder says trial was botched. A Fresno judge disagreed

Barber convicted of murder says trial was botched. A Fresno judge disagreed

A Fresno County Superior Court judge on Wednesday denied a request for a new trial by Luis Daniel Lopez, a Fresno barber convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of 23-year-old Alex Solorio.

This was Lopez’s second murder trial. The first ended with a not guilty verdict of first degree murder on February 16 of last year. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on second-degree murder so the case was retried.

At a second trial, Lopez was convicted of second degree murder in a case indicted by Tim Galstan.

But Lopez, 32, and his new defense attorney Michael Ed believe the jury in the second trial got it wrong. They allege that the jury instructions were flawed and that his earlier defense counsel was ineffective.

Aed said his client deserves a new trial. Judge Arlan L. Harrell disagreed.

“A lot of the evidence against the defendant came from the defendant,” Harrell said. “He confessed to the murder and the use of the knife. The only problem was if he acted in self-defense, or if he was provoked. He was not provoked by the court’s decision. Basically, on all the evidence, it was a revenge killing.

The victim was stabbed 35 times

Solorio had a body May 30 colleagues found Inside the Fed Shop in Colly when they were about to open the business in the 6700 block of North Blackstone Avenue near Herndon.

Lopez told police he and Solorio got into a physical fight after drinking inside the store. Lopez said the fight escalated and he stabbed Solorio to death in self-defense.

Prosecutor Tim Galstan presented evidence that Lopez was badly beaten during the fight. But Lopez also fought back, stabbing Solorio 35 times with a pocket knife. Solorio died on the spot.

In his ruling, the judge said all the elements required to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt were present.

“There was no miscarriage of justice here based on the evidence,” he said. “The allegations against Mr. Lopez are true and that is what the law requires. The motion for a new trial is denied.”

After the hearing, Galstan said he was relieved this phase of the case was over. Solorio’s family members were also grateful, Galstan said.

Ed was not surprised by the judge’s ruling.

“While we are disappointed with the court’s ruling, we did not necessarily expect the court to grant a motion for a new trial,” Ed said.

“This is a difficult case and nobody is happy about the situation. We were only concerned with certain issues in the second trial which led to a verdict inconsistent with the evidence.”

Aed said the next step for him is to file an appeal.

Sentencing for Lopez is scheduled for Feb. 23. The accused can get imprisonment from 16 years to life.

The Fresno Police Department has identified the man found dead in a barber shop as 23-year-old Alex Solorio.

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