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Published on April 24, 2024
Salem Man Receives Life Sentence for 2022 Murder at Cornelius House PartySource: Washington County District Attorney’s Office

A tumultuous argument at a house party turned deadly landed a Salem man with a life sentence after the 2022 murder has finally seen a court's judgment. Cesar Yovanni Alvarez-Alcazar, 20 at the time of the crime, was handed down a life sentence on Tuesday for the murder of Jose Angel Rodriguez-Sanchez during a house party in Cornelius two years ago; this decision coming from a jury's verdict which held Alvarez-Alcazar guilty of escalating an argument to fatal violence, as KOIN reported.

It was a night fraught with tension, that escalated into gunfire Alvarez-Alcazar, who was heavily intoxicated, fired shots that killed 20-year-old Rodriguez-Sanchez and attempted to shoot another partygoer, KPTV remarks. In the aftermath, Alvarez-Alcazar fled the scene and managed to evade immediate arrest for months. However, Alvarez-Alcazar's attempts to skirt the law came to an unsuccessful end in September 2022 when police caught up with him during a traffic stop in Salem where they discovered a concerning cache of weaponry that included a loaded handgun, 400 rounds of ammunition, and body armor stashed under the driver's seat.

Alvarez-Alcazar's defense met its end against a mountain of evidence; his guilty plea to unlawful possession of a firearm paired with a conviction for second-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon sealing his judicial fate. Despite the life sentence, there remains a glimmer of future freedom for Alvarez-Alcazar as he will be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 25 years, according to information provided by OregonLive.

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office has commented on the case, underscoring the tragedy that unfolded on that fateful February night when an over-indulgence in alcohol and flaring tempers led to a young man's life cut tragically short, while another's life is indelibly marred by a life sentence.