Man sentenced for triple homicide

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EPHRATA - J. Guadalupe Martinez-Lopez will serve 50 years in

prison for a 2009 triple homicide in Mattawa.

The 25-year-old man pleaded guilty to three counts of murder in the

second degree and one count of attempted murder in the second

degree in January.

EPHRATA - J. Guadalupe Martinez-Lopez will serve 50 years in prison for a 2009 triple homicide in Mattawa.

The 25-year-old man pleaded guilty to three counts of murder in the second degree and one count of attempted murder in the second degree in January.

Prosecutors lessened the charges from three counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the first degree after speaking with detectives, other law enforcement and the victim's families, Prosecutor Angus Lee said in a previous interview. Martinez-Lopez' claim he killed the men because of a past rape played a role in his decision.

Grant County Superior Court Judge Evan Sperline sentenced Martinez-Lopez to 50 years in prison. Martinez-Lopez has no prior convictions, and faced a possible range of 38 years and five months to 68 years and nine months in prison.

Martinez-Lopez left a house on Road 24.7 Southwest near Mattawa with the first victim, saying they were going to a store. As they were driving, Martinez-Lopez told the victim "he was going to pay," before drawing a .45 caliber pistol and shooting the man. The victim exited the vehicle, running a shot distance before falling. Martinez-Lopez walked to the man and shot him once more, according to a Grant County sheriff's report.

Martinez-Lopez drove back to the house and walked to the open front door before telling the three men and one woman inside that "what they did was wrong," according to the report. He opened fire, hitting the three men in the house. The surviving witness told investigators Martinez-Lopez was laughing when he opened fire.

"(The witness) said when the shots rang off, he dove to the ground and immediately felt a burning sensation, believing he had been shot," according to the report. "(The witness) said he checked himself out and noticed his shirt and belt buckle had been struck by the bullet."

Another man was struck, leaving a trail of blood down a hallway to a bedroom, where he died from the injury, according to the report. The final victim was found in the living room and died while being transported by ambulance.

Martinez-Lopez fled the house, getting the vehicle stuck in a field on Road 24.7 Southwest. Leaving the car, he stole a Volkswagen Jetta and drove to Sunnyside, meeting his girlfriend and other friends at a Mexican restaurant, according to the police report.

Police arrested Martinez-Lopez after the man parked a stolen car next to a Sunnyside police detective. They recovered a Colt .45 caliber pistol from the trunk of a Honda parked at the restaurant, belonging to one of the shooter's friends.

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