Woman to serve 2 years for role in '09 drive-by

YAKIMA -- Two days after her brother got 50 years in prison for gunning down two young men in a drive-by shooting, the driver got two years for her part in the crime.

Isabel Sanchez, 23, of Wapato was sentenced this past week in Yakima County Superior Court to two counts of first-degree rendering criminal assistance.

Sanchez was behind the wheel when her brother, 22-year-old Anthony Sanchez, opened fire on four young men walking along railroad tracks in Toppenish on March 5, 2009.

Killed in the shooting were Estevan Silva Jr., 17, and Israel Diaz, 20. Neither was armed. Police described the underlying motive as gang-related.

According to her plea bargain, Isabel Sanchez said she did not know her brother was going to shoot anyone.

However, she also agreed that she drove her brother from the scene back to Wapato and that she switched the tires on her car the next day in an effort to cover up evidence.

Like her brother, Isabel Sanchez was originally charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder as well as two counts of first-degree assault.

All four charges were dropped, however. Per the terms of her plea agreement, one of the rendering charges was a gross misdemeanor and the other a felony.

In court documents, Isabel Sanchez is described as an eighth-grade dropout. Her only criminal conviction was a car theft case in 2004, when she was a juvenile.

Anthony Sanchez was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison on a plea to reduced charges of second-degree murder. The sentence is widely believed to be one of the stiffest ever for a gang shooting in Yakima County.