Authorities think prisoner arranged killing from behind bars

May 16, 2015 3:22 PM by News Staff

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) - Authorities in Santa Barbara County are seeking murder charges against a state prison inmate they believe orchestrated a gang killing from behind bars.

The Sheriff's Office said Friday that it's asked the district attorney to charge 27-year-old Joseph Morales. He's doing 55 years-to-life in Lancaster for a 2006 attempted murder.

Investigators believe Morales used a cellphone to arrange the shooting of 37-year-old Javier Limon, whose body was found last August alongside a road near the entrance to Rancho Guadalupe Dunes.

The Santa Maria Times says two men were ordered to stand trial Friday on charges of first-degree murder and a woman has been charged with disposing of evidence.

The paper says authorities were told Limon was targeted because he disrespected high-ranking gang members - including Morales.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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