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Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Fabio Gomez raped and murdered his neighbor in 1999; He's now on Arizona's Death Row

Joan Morane's sister April McBee listened to the June 2003 result, the court result, and felt relief, The Arizona Republic wrote.

Fabio Gomez, then 35 and a former minor league baseball player, had been sentenced to die for Morane's December 1999 rape and murder. Morane had been Gomez' neighbor, The Republic wrote.

"I'm so happy and relieved. I feel like it was a very just sentence," McBee told The Republic afterward. "I don't think he can be tortured as much as what he did to my sister."

Gomez remains on Arizona's Death Row in 2022.

Gomez came to the United States from his native Dominican Republic to play baseball. He'd signed with the Indians and ended up playing a decade. He topped out at AAA.

Gomez's status as a former baseball player was frequently mentioned in the accounts of his prosecution in Morane's murder.

He played in the Indians system over six seasons. He never made AA. He then moved to the Athletics system for 1993, where he played at AA Huntsville and AAA Tacoma. 

He played in the Rockies system and then the Mariners in 1994 and 1995. He's last recorded as playing a single game with independent Albany in 1996.

Gomez liked to connect himself to fellow countryman, major league star Sammy Sosa, something he tried to do frequently as his murder case went on. A detective early on explained to The Republic how the detective saw that.

"Fabio is a nobody who wants to be a somebody," the detective told The Republic. "So he uses the name of a famous countryman to get his foot in the door."

By 1999, Gomez was unemployed and living in Arizona, in the same apartment complex Morane lived in, according to The Republic.

"On Dec. 2, 1999, while his girlfriend was at work and he was looking after their child, Gomez crossed the landing and dragged Morane into his apartment," The Republic wrote after he was sentenced again to death in the DNA-backed case after appeals. "He bound her with duct tape and brutally beat her, raped her, then bashed in her skull in the bathroom. He then discarded her body in a dumpster near their apartments."

Gomez continued to deny involvement throughout the years-long court proceedings. 

fuller account of the investigation and evidence against Gomez, however, including forensic evidence, Gomez' statements, how police came to focus on him, can be found in an appeals decision posted on

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,987
Made the Majors:1,326-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,661-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:543
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

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