Man Convicted of Killing San Jacinto Resident in Street Ambush a Decade Ago

MURRIETA – A man directly responsible for the deadly ambush-style revenge attack on a San Jacinto motorist a decade ago was convicted today of first-degree murder and other charges.
A Murrieta jury deliberated only a few hours Tuesday before finding Abram Daniel Palacios, 35, of San Jacinto guilty of the 2013 slaying of 23-year-old Ivan Ibarra Carrillo.
Along with murder, jurors found true a special circumstance allegation of lying in wait and convicted Palacios of sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge F. Paul Dickerson scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 28 at the Southwest Justice Center.
Palacios is being held without bail at the nearby Byrd Detention Center.   His half-brother, 50-year-old Juan Javier Mejia of Palm Springs, was convicted in 2016 of identical charges and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
According to court documents, Palacios wanted revenge against Carrillo because he believed the victim had orchestrated a home invasion robbery at his girlfriend’s house in October 2012.
The prosecution contended that Palacios had been looking for Carrillo over a weeks-long span. Mejia volunteered to act as the hit man, later telling sheriff’s investigators that he had control of both handguns used to carry out the killing, according to a trial brief filed by the District Attorney’s Office.
On June 6, 2013, Palacios learned Carrillo was in his neighborhood, near the intersection of Las Rosas Drive and Osprey Street. Palacios picked up Mejia in his girlfriend’s four-door Honda Accord, and the men then set off to find the victim’s Ford Excursion.
Within minutes, they encountered the SUV heading northbound on Las Rosas, where Palacios pulled into the larger vehicle’s path, forcing Carrillo to slam on his brakes.
Mejia jumped out of the Honda with a .40 caliber pistol, firing 14 rounds, several of which struck the victim in the upper body. Palacios later told detectives that when he ran out of bullets, he returned to the car and retrieved a 9mm handgun, then walked to the driver’s side window of the Excursion and fired two more shots, striking Carrillo in the face and head, even as he tried shield himself.
Carrillo died at the scene.
Palacios admitted to his girlfriend that he and Mejia had gunned down Carrillo.
Less than two weeks later, sheriff’s detectives located Mejia’s ex-wife and four children residing on Sunrise Way in Palm Springs. The woman revealed that the defendants had appeared at her residence on the night of June 18 and left three hours later.
An investigator said when he called Mejia’s mobile phone, the defendant “stated he was already in Mexico,” according to court records.
Mejia was taken into custody near Mexico City on Feb. 20, 2015, after more than 18 months on the run. He was extradited back to the U.S. and tried.
Palacios also hid out in Mexico but returned and was located and arrested without incident in Los Angeles in March 2019.
Palacios has prior misdemeanor convictions for illegal possession of a controlled substance, making criminal threats and domestic abuse.
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City News Service (CNS)