A Umatilla man agreed Monday to a plea deal in Oregon, clearing the way for his return to Benton County to face a first-degree murder charge in connection with a triple homicide in August.
Francisco J. Miranda-Resendiz, 23, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of menacing and notified the court he plans to waive extradition to Washington. He was given credit for time served and fined $100.
Miranda-Resendiz has been at the Umatilla County jail since his arrest Aug. 10, one day after the shootings.
It’s unclear if a waiver of extradition was signed by a judge following Monday’s hearing in a Hermiston courtroom. Miranda-Resendiz appeared by video and spoke through an interpreter.
The plea deal means Miranda-Resendiz could soon be in a Benton County courtroom facing murder charges in the death of David Perez-Saucedo, 22.
He was found in a rural Benton County cornfield with Victoria Torres, 19, and Abigail Torres-Renteria, 23, who was almost nine months pregnant. All three were from Pasco.
Miranda-Resendiz was arrested in Oregon and charged with attempted assault, unlawful use of a weapon and menacing. Court records show he was caught on a surveillance camera apparently threatening a fourth Tri-City man who was with the three victims in Umatilla hours before they died. The man claimed he was able to run to safety.
No charges have been filed yet in the deaths of Torres, Torres-Renteria or the unborn baby. The two women were not related.
Miranda-Resendiz’s two brothers and father are wanted for questioning in the homicide investigation. Authorities said Fidel Miranda-Huitron, 51, Eduardo Miranda-Resendiz, 24, and Fernando Miranda-Resendiz, 19, have possibly left the country.
The killings may have been retaliation for a break-in at Miranda-Resendiz’s apartment the night before the shootings, according to court documents.
The Miranda family members worked with Perez-Saucedo at a farm, officials and court documents said. Witnesses told authorities that Miranda-Resendiz was a suspected drug dealer.
A security camera at a Umatilla gas station shows a confrontation between some men, including Miranda-Resendiz and Perez-Saucedo, court documents said. Court records said the men appear to then take the victims from the store.
Several hours later, about 5:30 a.m., a farm worker found the three victims in the cornfield, court documents said.
Miranda-Resendiz showed up to work soon after and allegedly told supervisors he shot Perez-Saucedo, charging documents said. The number of times he claimed he shot Perez-Saucedo matched the autopsy report, documents said.
Miranda-Resendiz has admitted to seeing Perez-Saucedo at the gas station, but only to convince him to go drinking, court documents said. He told a friend that someone else shot them.
Investigators took items including ammunition, cellphones and clothing from Miranda-Resendiz’s two Umatilla apartments, court documents said. Many others have been questioned in connection with the case, said officials.
Authorities said the investigation into the whereabouts of the Miranda family members is ongoing.