A 21-year-old man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a murder that happened on Easter of 2019. A judge on Thursday sentenced Nathaniel Garcia to more than 15-years in prison.
21-year-old Garcia of Yakima was originally charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in connection with the April 21, 2019 death of 16-year-old David Martinez. Garcia was arrested after a nearly 4 month stay at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he was being treated for a gunshot wound. Prosecutors say Garcia and another man pointed guns and attempted to rob Martinez and his friends who were walking in the 1800 block of Sliger Road early Easter morning in 2019.
A fight started and Martinez was shot and so was one of the suspects, Nathaniel Garcia. Garcia was released from the hospital and arrested on a warrant. Police are still searching for a second suspect.
On Thursday Garcia entered an Alford plea to charges of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault. An Alford plea gives Garcia the chance to maintain his innocence while realizing prosecutors have the evidence to convict him in a trial.
After the plea a judge sentenced Garcia to 15 years and 6 months in prison.

Prosecutors were preparing for the trial that was set for April 12. It was expected to be a big trial under the current COVID-19 restrictions. Many precautions are still in place to protect those who report for jury duty. All those who report for jury duty are questioned at the Yakima Valley Sundome before a trial starts inside the Yakima County Courthouse. The Yakima Valley Sundome is being used to help create more space when large groups of people report for jury duty.

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