Judge sentences Lapan to life in prison for 2016 murder

James R. Lapan Jr. (Source: Pima County Sheriff’s Department)
James R. Lapan Jr. (Source: Pima County Sheriff’s Department)
Published: Nov. 2, 2018 at 9:33 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A judge in Pima County sentenced a Tucson man to life in prison on Friday, Nov. 2, for the 2016 murder of Nicolas Morelos.

According to information from the Pima County Superior Court, James R. Lapan Jr. was convicted on Oct. 2 of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary. In addition to the life sentence for the murder conviction, Lapan was sentenced to 10 1/2 years for the burglary conviction.

Lapan’s attorney, Louis Fidel, was relieved from this case and the public defender’s office was appointed for the appeals process.

Morelos was found dead inside his home in the 9200 block of North Grouse Place on July 18, 2016.

Lapan was arrested during a traffic stop on Pinal Air Park Road on July 22, 2016.

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