Medical marijuana may have been the motive in this week's Hilmar home invasion that resulted in the death of a 70-year-old man, Merced County sheriff's detectives said Tuesday.
The victim, Roberto Solorio, was fatally shot around 1 a.m. Monday after two armed men stormed the home in the 10000 block of Teg-ner Road. A 33-year-old man also was shot, but he is expected to survive.
Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman, said detectives have learned that a relative who spent "a substantial amount of time" at the home may have been a medical marijuana user. Detectives have speculated the attackers may have associated the relative with the victim's home, and targeted it for that reason.
MacKenzie clarified, however, that the relative didn't live at the house. He also said there's no evidence of medicinal marijuana or a marijuana grow at the home. MacKenzie said the detectives reached that possible conclusion based on witness statements. "We're working on this as a possible scenario," MacKenzie said. "The family (at the home) had nothing to do with medicinal marijuana, but it's possible that's why the (home invaders) hit the house."
If the detectives' theory is correct, it wouldn't be the first time medical marijuana was the motive in a home invasion. In May, two men were charged with breaking into a home being used as a medical marijuana dispensary in the Beachwood area of Merced County. The suspects in the case were found with a large semiautomatic handgun and an AK-47-type assault weapon.
Residents at the Hilmar home said the robbers went to the front and rear doors, knocking on them and trying to kick them in. The robbers broke the lock at the rear door, entered the home and ordered everyone down to the floor before shooting Solorio and his son-in-law. Solorio was pronounced dead at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock.
Deputies also said none of the residents at the home appeared to have a criminal background, a lot of money or any obvious enemies.
Detectives ask anyone with information on the case to contact the Merced County Sheriff's Department Detective Division at (209) 385-7472.
Modesto Bee reporter Patty Guerra contributed to this report.
Sun-Star Managing Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the original story: http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/04/02/2293533/two-home-invaders-with-handguns.html.