The man accused of firing the fatal shot that killed a 17-year-old Salina South High School student last spring has been found guilty of 1st degree murder.
At the end of a trial that lasted a full week, a jury Friday evening returned guilty verdicts on all charges that 23-year-old Maceo Palacio was facing. Those charges include:
- 1st degree murder
- attempted 1st degree murder
- shooting at an occupied vehicle
- conspiracy to commit aggravated battery
The case stems from the shooting death of 17-year-old Allie Saum, who would have graduated this Sunday.
Saum was shot and killed on May 6th, 2015. Shots were fired at a truck as it drove eastbound in the 500 block of Russell.
The truck was mis-identified as being connected to an earlier altercation. Saum was a passenger in the truck, and was hit by one of five shots that were fired.
Palacio is one of 5 defendants accused of participating in the shooting.
Two of the defendants are already waiting to be sentenced on 1st degree murder convictions. Stephen Gentry was found guilty by a jury of all charges he was facing. A couple of days later Andrew Woodring pleaded guilty to a felony 1st degree murder charge. Other charges Woodring was facing were dropped.
Defendant Daniel Sims testified against Gentry during that trial, in exchange for a reduction of the charges against him. He was also a part of Palacio’s trial.
Jerome Forbes has yet to stand trial.
A sixth defendant is also accused in the case, 21-year-old Azucena Garcia-Ferniza. She was found guilty of an obstruction charge for trying to hide the gun that was used in the shooting.
During Palacio’s trial his attorneys did not contest that he fired the five shots, but rather they argued that he did not intend to kill anyone..
For the murder conviction Palacio faces a minimum sentence of life without the possibility of parole for 25 years. He will be sentenced in July.
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