Two years of events leads to Yakima murder trial - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Two years of events leads to Yakima murder trial

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YAKIMA, Wash -- On the night of February 20th, 2005, Yakima Police responded to multiple gun shots at a home on South 18th Avenue. When they arrived, Ricky Causor was dead and his daughter Mya was fighting for her life - she later died at the hospital. 

According to police, several men, including Mario Mendez and Jose Sanchez, Jr broke into Ricky Causor's apartment and killed Ricky and his daughter Mya. Michelle Kublic, Causors girlfriend was also shot, but she managed to escape and with another child

"If it hadn't been for the mothers action we'd probably have two dead children," Yakima Police Chief Sam Granato said several days after the shooting.

Jose Sanchez, Jr was arrested a few days later  after the brutal killings, but Mario Mendez remained on the loose for eight month. He was captured in October of 2005 after trying to cross the US Mexico boarder.

Mendez, like Sanchez was charged with two counts of first degree murder.

In October 2006, Yakima County Prosecutor Ron Zirkle decided not to pursue the death penalty for both men.

A decision supported by Ricky's family

"We would support any decision he would make, whether it be the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole," said Juan Garcia, Ricky's step-father. "We stand behind his decision."

Two months before Sanchez's trial, Mario Mendez plead guilty to first degree murder and agreed to testify against Sanchez.