hector morales
hector morales

Hector Morales was sentenced to death by the State of Pennsylvania for the murder of Ronald Lee Simmons Jr. According to court documents Ronald Lee Simmons Jr was set to testify against Hector Morales in a Federal drug case so Morales would break into Simmons home and shoot him multiple times causing his death. Hector Morales would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death

Pennsylvania Death Row Inmate List

Hector Morales 2021 Information

NameName Type

Parole Number: 103CX
Age: 38
Date of Birth: 10/06/1982
Race/Ethnicity: HISPANIC
Height: 5′ 07″
Gender: MALE
Citizenship: USA
Complexion: MEDIUM
Current Location: PHOENIX

Permanent Location: PHOENIX
Committing County: YORK

Hector Morales More News

A jury determined Hector Manuel Morales must die for executing Ronald Lee Simmons Jr., a police informant scheduled to testify against him in a felony heroin-dealing case.

Jurors unanimously reached their decision about 5 p.m. Friday. Had even one of them refused to impose the death penalty, Morales would have been automatically sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“It sends a strong message not to kill commonwealth witnesses who are confidential informants,” chief deputy prosecutor Karen Comery said. “And Ronald Simmons and his family got justice.”

Defense attorneys Jeff Marshall and Joanne Floyd said they will look at appeal options.

“I’m just sad for (Morales’) family, sad for the victim’s family,” Marshall said as he left the courtroom.

“We are going to take every avenue of appeal open to Hector,” Floyd said. “And we think we might have some issues that might grant him a new trial.”

As the jury forewoman announced they were imposing a death sentence, several of Morales’ family members gasped and cried. The defendant dropped his head for a moment.

Several of Simmons’ family members also cried. His widow, Tina Simmons, appeared drained.

Morales, 28, of York City, paid no attention as the jurors were being individually polled about their decision. Instead he turned to his mother and comforted her, telling her, “It’s OK.”

He then turned his attention to two crying family members, trying to calm them. His hand shook nearly imperceptibly as he held it up to calm them.

The conviction: On Thursday afternoon, the jury convicted Morales of first-degree murder and burglary for the July 16, 2009, shooting death of Simmons, 42, of York City.

Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder scheduled formal sentencing for 9 a.m. March 1. Morales must still be sentenced on the burglary conviction, and Snyder said he will formally sentence Morales to death at that hearing.

Morales broke into the victim’s North Tremont Street home about 1 a.m. and shot him six times, jurors determined.

Simmons, known as “Country,” was a confidential informant who helped the York County Drug Task Force set up and bust Morales for dealing heroin. He was scheduled to testify against Morales at a preliminary hearing the same day he was murdered.

Comery argued to jurors three aggravating factors to support a death sentence: that Simmons was a prosecution witness who was executed to keep him from testifying; that Morales murdered Simmons during the course of another felony (burglary); and that Morales knowingly created a grave risk of death for another person — the victim’s wife.

Impaired? Defense attorney Jeff Marshall argued mitigating circumstances include that Morales was “substantially impaired” by alcohol and drugs at the time of the killing, and that while he may have been 26 years old at the time, his emotional age was younger.

“We know the end of the story of the life of Hector Morales,” Marshall said, then asked jurors “to look at the beginning of his life, and the middle of his life.”

He was referring to Friday morning’s testimony from Morales’ mother, his two sisters and the mothers of his 3- and 4-year-old daughters.

All testified the Morales family is extremely close, and that Morales is a loving, involved father to his girls.

Head injury: His mother, Carmen Morales, and sisters, Liz and Yareliz Morales, also told the jury that Hector Morales was struck by a car and badly hurt when he was about 9 years old. Marshall asked jurors to consider whether the killer’s head trauma affected his actions.

The three Morales women testified he was different after the accident. He became nervous and suffered migraines, they said, and required treatment for years.

They also testified that Hector Morales was deeply affected by the 2000 homicide of his oldest brother, as was their entire family.

“It was the first time I saw my dad and mom turn to drugs, because they couldn’t take it. … We all did, except my (two youngest siblings),” Liz Morales said. “It kind of helped us deal with the pain.”

She said their father is currently in state prison on drug offenses.

“What kind of guidance was (Morales) given?” Marshall asked the jury. “We’re asking you to understand Hector Morales.”

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