Man pleads guilty to killing in Pasco, will return to Mexico
Associated Press - May 18, 2008 2:25 PM ET
PASCO, Wash. (AP) - A man who was extradited to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge in Pasco has entered a modified guilty plea, and he can now return to Mexico without spending any more time behind bars.
With his Alford plea Thursday in Franklin County Superior Court, 32-year-old Martin Vaal Lopez did not admit killing Beatris Pulido-Padilla, a 39-year-old mother of 3. However, he conceded he would likely be convicted if the case went to trial.
Prosecutor Steve M. Lowe says he's happy that the woman's teenage son won't have to testify about the shooting, which occurred on June 27, 2006.
Lopez was arrested in March 2007 outside Mexico City and was returned to Pasco in February. He claims he was farming in Mexican state of Sinaloa in the Sinaloa at the time of the killing.