The Yakima County Prosecutors office is preparing for an April 12 murder trial as COVID-19 restrictions ease in the state of Washington. Jury selection continues in the Yakima Valley Sundome to help create more space between the hundreds of jurors that are called for trials every week in Yakima County.
20-year-old Nathaniel Garcia of Yakima is being held on $1 million bail after being charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in 2019 in Yakima County Superior Court. Garcia was arrested in connection with the April 21, 2019 death of 16-year-old David Martinez. Garcia was arrested after a nearly 4 month stay at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he was being treated for a gunshot wound. Prosecutors say Garcia and another man pointed guns and attempted to rob Martinez and his friends who were walking in the 1800 block of Sliger Road early Easter morning in 2019.
A fight started and Martinez was shot and so was the suspect, Nathaniel Garcia. Garcia was released from the hospital and arrested on a warrant. He's now being held in the Yakima County Jail awaiting his trial next month.
Prosecutor Joe Brusic says even though Yakima and the state is in Phase 3 of the reopening plan jury selection will continue in the Yakima Valley Sundome to keep people safe. He says hundreds of jurors have already been through the process over the last 9 months. Trials were suspended shortly after the first COVID-19 cases were found in the state and the courthouse was closed. Now the courthouse is open for trials with jury selection happening in another location, the Yakima Valley Sundome. Prosecutor Joe Brusic will appear on The Morning News Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. Don't miss our conversation.