Police roundup: Umatilla man sentenced to 3 months for second-degree assault

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldNovember 12, 2012 

An Umatilla man who shot a younger man in the chest last year got a three-month jail sentence because the victim refuses to talk to police or prosecutors.

Edgar Martinez, 41, pleaded guilty in Franklin County Superior Court to second-degree assault.

Martinez originally faced one count of first-degree assault, but Deputy Prosecutor Frank Jenny cited a number of reasons for reducing the charge in a plea agreement.

Pasco police were called to Lourdes Medical Center the evening of March 31, 2011, after Israel Garcia showed up in the emergency room with a gunshot wound.

Detectives discovered Martinez had shot Garcia in the chest with a pistol while Garcia was sitting in a car, court documents said.

Detective William Parramore showed a series of photographs to Garcia the next morning, and he selected the picture of Martinez as the person who shot him, documents said.

A warrant was issued for Martinez after officers were unable to locate him. He later was found in California and returned to Pasco this August.

Martinez reportedly claims that Garcia pointed a gun at him that night, and the gun went off as Martinez moved to push it aside, Jenny wrote in court documents.

"The direction of the wound is not entirely inconsistent with the version," Jenny said. Martinez "now states he realizes he made a mistake in leaving the area after the event."

Garcia, 29, recovered from the wound and now is in custody as a material witness on an unrelated case, documents said. He also is awaiting deportation proceedings.

Garcia is not speaking to anyone, and an investigator with the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office has been unable to locate other potential witnesses to the shooting "despite extensive efforts," Jenny wrote.

Martinez's trial was set for Dec. 5. Jenny said the state's case could improve if witnesses are located before that date, but he recognized that there is no guarantee that will happen.

Martinez had no known felony convictions before this crime. The plea agreement will give him a "strike" under Washington's three-strikes law and makes him ineligible to own or possess firearms, Jenny said.

Martinez must pay $5,301.51 to the Crime Victims Compensation Program in Olympia. He also is ordered to have no contact with Garcia for the next 10 years.

Warrant issued for Pasco woman tied to DSHS case

A 25-year-old Pasco woman is wanted after missing court on charges she lied about her boyfriend's employment status while receiving more than $19,000 in state assistance.

Amanda Prado allegedly signed multiple statements indicating that she and her boyfriend -- the father of her three children -- had little, if no employment, court documents said.

Between December 2009 and December 2011, Prado accepted $10,320 in cash assistance and $8,938 for food.

Yet, she was not entitled to those benefits because she either failed to report or willfully concealed the fact that her partner was working for Grigg's Department Store in Pasco at the time, said Paula Brantner-Thomas, a criminal investigator with the Washington Department of Social and Health Services.

Prado is charged with first-degree theft by welfare fraud and two counts of second-degree perjury, all felonies.

She had been sent a notice to appear in court so she could enter a plea to the new charges. A bench warrant was issued when she didn't show at the hearing as scheduled.

w Kristin M. Kraemer: 582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com

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