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Marcelino Lopez Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder Of Brandon Nieves

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - A 20-year-old man was found guilty on Tuesday in connection to the killing of 20-year-old Brandon Nieves and the shooting of a 16-year-old boy from Georgia in April of 2020.

The Dakota County Attorney's Office says Marcelino Santiago Lopez of Inver Grove Heights was sentenced to life in prison without parole after he was found guilty of first-degree murder. He was also found guilty of second-degree attempted murder for the shooting of the boy and was sentenced to an additional 173 months in prison.

Marcelino Lopez
Marcelino Lopez (credit: Dakota County)

On April 2 of 2020, South St. Paul Police responded to a report of gunshots being fired at the 1600 block of North Concord Street.

While officers were interviewing witnesses, Lopez contacted the Dakota Communications Center and informed them that he had just shot two people. He was then taken into custody by West St. Paul Police.

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement said he admitted to meeting one of the victims with the intention of fighting, as he was in a romantic relationship with his ex-girlfriend.

Lopez then said he arrived at the fight, but drove away. Then he saw people get out of a car behind him and he grabbed a shotgun and shot two people.

He was indicted by a Dakota County Grand Jury in November of 2020.

"Our sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Brandon Nieves for their great loss. We are thankful for the ongoing recovery of the 16-year-old victim," said Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena.

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