Marion Co. Dist. Attorney's Office
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News Release
1998 Salem cold case resolves with plea to 132 months in prison - 04/03/18

            Yesterday, April 2, 2018, the Honorable Jamese Rhoades sentenced Fernando Cortez, 38 years old, to 132 months in the Department of Corrections for the 1998 shooting death of Alfredo Lopez-Nabor.

            On May 9, 1998 Salem Police responded to a gang fight/shooting at the Circle K located at 4710 Portland RD NE. Once there, police found Alfredo Lopez-Nabor who had been shot once in the chest. Lopez-Nabor was transported to Salem Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was 25 years old.

            During the ensuing investigation Cortez, then 19, left Salem and is believed to have gone to Mexico. No arrests were made and over time the case grew “cold”.

            In 2008, Salem Police Detective Jamie Vasas was assigned to follow up on this cold case. His investigation revealed that Cortez may have moved back to the United States and was possibly living in Oxnard, California, under a fake name.

            In 2014 a warrant was issued for Cortez’s arrest, though, efforts to locate him in California were unsuccessful.

            However, in the Summer of 2017 Salem Police learned new evidence regarding Cortez’s whereabouts and in August of 2017 Salem Detectives Jamie Vasas and Grant Davis, working with the FBI and Oxnard Police were able to find and arrest Cortez and return him to Oregon.

            On April 2, 2018, nearly twenty years after the crime, Fernando Cortez pled guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree with a firearm. He was sentenced to 132 months in the Department of Corrections with no good time.

            The charge of Manslaughter in the First Degree is the product of a settlement conference.  Manslaughter in the First Degree is a lesser included charge of Murder and is the result of witness and evidentiary issues due to the age of the case.