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Man sentenced to over 15 years in killing of Yakima teen

April 9, 2021 GMT

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison in the killing of a Yakima teenager.

Nathaniel Garcia entered an Alford plea to charges of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault this week in the death of 16-year-old David Martinez, The Yakima Herald-Republic reported. In return, Yakima County Superior Court records show prosecutors dropped murder and robbery charges.

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An Alford plea allows Garcia to maintain his innocence while conceding that prosecutors had enough evidence to convince a jury to find him guilty. Garcia’s sentence includes a five-year firearms enhancement.

Both prosecutors and Garcia’s attorney conceded that Garcia was not the one who shot Martinez in the April 21, 2019, incident.

Martinez was walking with a group around 2 a.m. when they were confronted by Garcia and another armed man, according to court documents. Garcia and the other man asked the group if they were gang members and when they said no, the two drew guns and demanded money, court documents said.

Martinez grabbed one of the assailants and threw him to the ground, and a fight began, documents said. Video footage from a business showed Garcia run over to the fighting before shots were fired, court documents said.

The footage later shows Martinez on the ground, and Garcia falling after he was shot multiple times, the documents said.

An autopsy found Martinez was killed by six gunshots to the chest. Garcia was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he spent several months before being booked into the Yakima County jail.

Yakima police are still searching for the other suspect, police Capt. Jay Seely said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Yakima police.