TACOMA, WA – Today, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Alex Lopez Leon, 30, with two counts of murder in the second degree for allegedly killing Wilberth Joel Lopez Acala, 22, and Adrian Valencia Cuevas, 19, in University Place in May 2018. Lopez Leon was arraigned today after a warrant for his arrest was issued early this month.
Lopez Leon was being held in federal custody on a violation of conditions pursuant to a previous federal conviction.
On May 14, 2018, at approximately 5:30 a.m., officers arrived in the area of 63rd Street West in University Place for a welfare check on a vehicle that was blocking the street. There were two men in the front seat of the car. The driver had a gunshot wound to the right side of his head and the front passenger had a gunshot wound to the left side of his head. The victims were later identified as Wilberth Joel Lopez Acala and Adrian Valencia Cuevas. Both were confirmed dead at the scene.
Officers found blood in the driver’s seat and shell casings and beer cans in the back seat.
Video footage from the area recorded two males climbing out of the window of the vehicle and running from the area. Investigators identified one of the men as the defendant, Alex Lopez Leon, and the other as Javier Valenzuela Felix.
Valenzuela Felix was arraigned in June of this year and trial is set to begin October 11, 2018.
Detectives spoke with Lopez Leon. He said he, the two victims, and Valenzuela Felix, were driving around firing a gun. Valenzuela Felix had the gun and was shooting. He then shot the front passenger in the head and told the driver to find an area they could discard the body. When they arrived in the location the vehicle was found, Valenzuela Felix shot the driver. Lopez Leon and Valenzuela Felix climbed out of the vehicle and ran. Lopez Leon reported that he had no idea why either victim was shot, but said he later heard media reports calling the killings drug related.
Lopez Leon’s bail was set at $5,000,000.00.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].