MS-13 gang member convicted of raping and fatally shooting a 13-year-old girl is sentenced to life in prison
- Jorge Palacios, 41, was sentenced on Friday by a Los Angeles County judge
- He will serve life in prison without parole in a California state facility
- In March, Palacios was convicted of first-degree murder and kidnapping
- Jacqueline Piazza, 13, was found dead in LA’s Elysian Park on June 28, 2001
- Authorities say she was raped and then shot in the head twice
- Three other alleged MS-13 gang members await trial in the case
An MS-13 gang member was sentenced by a California judge to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for raping and then fatally shooting a 13-year-old Whittier girl in 2001.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler handed down the sentence for Jorge Palacios, 41, on Friday.
Fidler denied Palacios’ request for a new trial.
In March, Palacios was convicted of first-degree murder and one count of kidnapping to commit another crime.
The jury also found true special circumstance allegations that the murder occurred in the commission of rape, lewd acts on a child and kidnapping.
On June 28, 2001, Jacqueline Piazza’s naked body was found in Elysian Park (seen above), not far from Dodger Stadium in central Los Angeles
On June 28, 2001, Jacqueline Piazza’s naked body was found in Elysian Park, not far from Dodger Stadium in central Los Angeles.
Piazza was also found with two bullet wounds in the head.
During the trial, prosecutors said the defendants kidnapped the victim the night before she was found and drove her to a remote area of the park, where they sexually assaulted and killed her.
Her murder was unsolved for almost a decade until authorities discovered new information leading to four alleged members of MS-13.
Besides Palacios, authorities have also arrested Rogelio Contreras, 41; Melvin Sandoval, 40; and Santos Grimaldi, 36.
The other three are due in court on August 23 for a pretrial conference in their case.