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Sentencing handed down for murder of Grandview man

YAKIMA - Pedro Lopez Garcia, 22, of Grandview was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison yesterday, Monday, for the July 2010 killing of Pablo Torres Alvarez, also of Grandview.

That's according to the Yakima County clerk's office this morning, which noted the sentencing took place in Yakima County Superior Court after Garcia plead guilty to second-degree murder.

According to police reports, Garcia stabbed Alvarez while they were both in a vehicle in the 3000 block of Sunnyside-Mabton Highway on the night of July 27, 2010. Garcia then reportedly pushed Alvarez out and ran over him with the vehicle.

The clerk's office said yesterday's sentencing was for 170 months, including 24 months for a deadly weapon enhancement. In addition, Garcia was ordered to serve 36 months of probation following his prison term.

In related news, prosecutors dismissed two charges of resisting arrest against Garcia and a charge that he committed third degree assault on Grandview Police Officer Mike Chilson.

Grandview and Sunnyside police were called to assist the Sheriff's office with the July 2010 killing and Garcia's subsequent capture.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sam Chen said this morning that the resisting arrest and third degree assault charges were not pursued because his office focused on the second-degree murder charges filed in July 2010.

"Basically what we're pursuing is the big picture," Chen said. "The resisting arrest charges were not going to change anything. We wanted to hold him accountable for what he did, murder two and deadly weapon enhancement, and sentence him for that."

As for charges Garcia assaulted the Grandview police officer, Chen said he allegedly pushed the officer. "In the big picture there wouldn't have been much time for third degree assault," he said. "Our office was primarily pursuing the murder charge."

With Garcia now sentenced, Chen said the 170-month term will credit him for the past year or so he has already served.

Following his eventual release, Garcia may not only face probation, but may have to leave the U.S.

"There's an ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) hold against him, so he may be deported to Mexico," Chen said.

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