Tribune News Service

PALESTINE — Victor A. Salcedo pleaded guilty to murder on Thursday before 87th District Judge Deborah Oakes Evans and received an automatic sentence of life without parole.

Salcedo, represented by Stephen Evans and Jeff Herrington, was charged with capital murder in the death of his ex-wife, Lorena Salcedo.

According to a release from the Anderson County District Attorney’s office, on the morning of Jan. 15, 2014, Salcedo forced his way into Lorena’s home in Elkhart after watching her return from taking their three children to school.

Once inside, he tied her to a chair with duct tape and rope. He then put plastic over her mouth and nose in an attempt to suffocate her. When that failed, he squeezed her neck, killing her.

After killing her, Salcedo called 911 to tell the operator what he did, that he loved his children and that he was going to kill himself.

Deputies then arrived at Lorena’s house to discover her body and Salcedo bleeding on the floor from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Deputies said he again confessed, he was rushed to the hospital and later recovered from his wounds.

Anderson County District Attorney Allyson Mitchell said in a statement: “Victor Salcedo is truly a monster who should spend the rest of his life in prison. He laid in wait on Lorena, calculating his moves to take her life. He needs to look in the mirror every day and be reminded he didn’t get his wish to die. By his own hands, three children are now orphans, their mother murdered and their father in prison for the rest of his life for taking their mother away.”

In the release, Mitchell praised the work of the deputies and investigators at the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office for their work on this case.

“Sgt. Brian Chason and his fellow officers did an excellent job of piecing together the events that unfolded that day and previously so that we, as prosecutors, could have a full picture of how events led up to Lorena’s death,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell also praised the work done by First Assistant Scott Holden and investigator Aneshia Thompson on the case.

“Scott and Aneshia are a team that prosecutes cases under the Violence Against Women’s Act, meaning their primary responsibility is to hold those that abuse women accountable,” Mitchell said. “Both were instrumental in presenting the case against Salcedo that ultimately led to his plea of guilty.”

Mitchell encourages any victim of domestic abuse to seek help.